News & Current Affairs

August 28, 2008

Putin blames US for Georgia role

Putin blames US for Georgia role

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

Mr Putin said US citizens were in the area during the conflict

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has accused the US of provoking the conflict in Georgia, possibly for domestic election purposes.

Mr Putin told CNN US citizens were “in the area” during the conflict over South Ossetia and were “taking direct orders from their leaders”.

He said his defense officials had told him the provocation was to benefit one of the US presidential candidates.

The White House dismissed the allegations as “not rational”.

Georgia tried to retake the Russian-backed separatist region of South Ossetia this month by force after a series of clashes.

Russian forces subsequently launched a counter-attack and the conflict ended with the ejection of Georgian troops from both South Ossetia and another rebel region, Abkhazia, and an EU-brokered ceasefire.

Diplomatic wrangling

Mr Putin said in the interview: “The fact is that US citizens were indeed in the area in conflict during the hostilities.

“It should be admitted that they would do so only following direct orders from their leaders.”

Those claims first and foremost are patently false, but it also sounds like his defence officials who said they believed this to be true are giving him really bad advice
Dana Perino,
White House spokeswoman

Mr Putin added: “The American side in effect armed and trained the Georgian army.

“Why… seek a difficult compromise solution in the peacekeeping process? It is easier to arm one of the sides and provoke it into killing another side. And the job is done.

“The suspicion arises that someone in the United States especially created this conflict with the aim of making the situation more tense and creating a competitive advantage for one of the candidates fighting for the post of US president.”

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino rejected the allegation.

“To suggest that the United States orchestrated this on behalf of a political candidate – it sounds not rational,” she said.

“Those claims first and foremost are patently false, but it also sounds like his defense officials who said they believed this to be true are giving him really bad advice.”

BBC map
South Ossetia
Population: About 70,000 (before recent conflict)
Capital: Tskhinvali
President: Eduard Kokoity
Population: About 250,000 (2003)
Capital: Sukhumi
President: Sergei Bagapsh

Diplomatic wrangling over Russia’s actions in Georgia continued on Thursday with the Georgian parliament urging its government to cut diplomatic ties with Moscow.

Earlier, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner suggested some EU countries were considering sanctions against Russia.

Mr Kouchner insisted France had made no proposals for sanctions itself but, as current president of the EU, would aim to get consensus among all 27 countries of the bloc if sanctions were envisaged.

France has called an emergency EU summit on Monday to reassess relations with Russia.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described talk of sanctions as the working of “a sick imagination”.

Such talk was an emotional response that demonstrated Western confusion over the situation, he said.

The US has said it is now considering scrapping a US-Russia civilian nuclear co-operation pact in response to the conflict.

“I don’t think there’s anything to announce yet, but I know that that is under discussion,” Mr Perino said.

The White House has also announced that up to $5.75m (£3.1m) will be freed to help Georgia meet “unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs”.

Rocket test

Earlier on Thursday Russia failed to get strong backing from its Asian allies over the Georgia conflict.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), comprising Russia, China and Central Asian nations, met in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, and spoke of its deep concern.

The group did not follow Russia in recognising the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev insisted he had the backing of the nations over Moscow’s actions.

Amid the rising tension, Russia announced on Thursday it had successfully tested its long-range Topol ballistic missile from a launch site in Kamchatka in the far east of the country.

Russia says the rocket is capable of penetrating the proposed US missile defence.

1 Comment »

  1. “U.S. citizens were indeed in the area in conflict,” Putin said. “They were acting in implementing those orders doing as they were ordered, and the only one who can give such orders is their leader.”

    Putin did not say that! THIS IS A LIE! I have just watched the full version of the interview on Russian television and I can’t believe this is what I am reading on CNN.

    This is what Putin said regarding the US involvement:
    “What I am going to say right now are just my observations, which we will need to investigate. Even in the time of Cold War, our countries always avoided military confrontation and engagement of our military personnel. At this time, we have unconfirmed evidence that there were American military personnel in Ossetia. Again, this has not been confirmed and I will conduct full investigation on this. But if it does get confirmed, what it means is that there were Americans engaged in military actions with Georgian side, they do get their orders from the American administration and government and it will have deep consequences”. The reporter asked: “Are you saying that US government instigated the conflict in order to help the presidential candidate to get elected?” Putin response: “Again, we do not have confirmed evidence”.

    The full interview is been recorded by the Russian TV can be viewed on It is a very intelligent, thoughtful and an excellent interview from Putin, while the commentator kept provoking Putin and making statements which are now published on CNN website. I wish CNN would translate the whole interview. Anyway, the article on CNN is not correct., not true and American people should not believe it!

    The reporter asked a question about the chicken situation. Putin did not just casually dropped this piece of news on the reporter. This is what Putin said: “In July and August, 19 US companies were prohibited from exporting poultry into Russia, after the Ministry of Health found chemicals in meat. These companies were warned last year, but they did not change. 29 US companies will continue their shipment of poultry into Russia. I don’t want you to put all these topics together – politics, economy, meat, etc.” The reporter: “… the ban of American poultry”. Putin: “I told you, Russia did not ban American meat. We have stopped shipment from some companies, because of the health concerns, the same way US and other countries stop shipments of unhealthy products.” Putin: “Do not create an enemy for US people. We are a peaceful nation, we want to work with our partners in peaceful environment.”
    The reporter: “I want to go back to the question of US provoking the war. Didn’t Russia start the war?” I will explain it to you again: “The conflict started in the 90s when Georgia deprived Ossetia and Abkhazia of autonomy rights at which time the war erupted. Russia signed the agreement with Georgia then in order to keep peace in the region. Georgia broke every agreement and killed Russian citizens.”

    Comment by WiseinDC — August 28, 2008 @ 8:10 pm

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