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Russia: Medvedev Orders End To Georgia Operations

The operations to oblige Georgia to restore peace have ended because they have achieved their main goal: to protect Russian peacekeepers and the civilian population of South Ossetia

At a meeting in the Kremlin with President of France Nicolas Sarkozy, Dmitry Medvedev informed his French colleague about the end of the operations to oblige the Georgian authorities to restore peace. Dmitry Medvedev stressed that the operations in South Ossetia have ended because they have achieved their main goal: to protect Russian peacekeepers and the civilian population.

Following negotiations which lasted more than four hours, the presidents of Russia and France elaborated six principles for the settlement of the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict:

* do not resort to the use of force;

* the absolute cessation of all hostilities;

* free access to humanitarian assistance;

* the Armed Forces of Georgia must withdraw to their permanent positions;

* the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation must withdraw to the line where they were stationed prior to the beginning of hostilities; prior to the establishment of international mechanisms the Russian peacekeeping forces will take additional security measures; and,

* an international debate on the future status of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and ways to ensure their lasting security will take place.


EARLIER...

AUGUST 12, 2008

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev has ordered an end to the operations to oblige Georgia to restore peace

At a meeting in the Kremlin with Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov, President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev ordered an end to the operations to oblige Georgia to restore peace. The security of the Russian peacekeeping brigade and civilian population has been restored and the armed forces of the aggressor are disorganized, the head of state emphasized.

Dmitry Medvedev instructed the Russian army to make a decision with regards to the destruction of pockets of resistance when such instances should arise.

Mr Medvedev noted the efficiency of the Russian peacekeeping brigade’s actions and the harmonious work of all units. The President intends to present awards to members of the Russian military involved in the operations.

***

AUGUST 11, 2008

On the night of August 7-8, Georgia committed an act of military aggression directed primarily against the people of South Ossetia and the Russian peacekeeping brigade deployed in this region

Dmitry Medvedev made this statement at a meeting with the leaders of the State Duma factions.

Georgia used heavy artillery, tanks, aviation and the regular army to literally wipe Tskhinvali, its homes, hospitals and schools, from the face of the Earth. Several thousand people have become victims of the ensuing humanitarian disaster, and a large number of them are Russian citizens.

Mr Medvedev stressed that in just a few hours all of the agreements that existed at that point were made null and void, not to mention that all the basic principles of international law have been violated: the wounded have had no chance to get treatment and refugees have not had the possibility of evacuation. This is the tragic result of the unspeakable aggressive act that Georgia, the Georgian authorities, has committed.

Russia’s tactic with regard to the Georgian leadership, which unleashed this aggression, is that of enforcing peace in accordance with the United Nations Charter. The President said that this tactic is absolutely effective and the only possible option.

Conditions for normalising the situation in the region remain unchanged. As Mr Medvedev declared earlier, all Georgian armed forces must withdraw from South Ossetia, and Georgia and South Ossetia must sign a legally binding agreement committing them not to use force.

***

AUGUST 10, 2008

Achieving a ceasefire and normalising the situation in the region would require the withdrawal of all Georgian armed forces from South Ossetia and the signature of a legally binding agreement between Georgia and South Ossetia committing both sides not to use force

Speaking by telephone to President of France Nicholas Sarkozy, Dmitry Medvedev said that Georgia would have to undertake these steps without setting preliminary conditions.

On the political level, Georgia’s aggression has caused the collapse of efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict. Through its acts, the Georgian leadership has essentially caused irreparable damage to the integrity of its own state.

***

AUGUST 9, 2008

Russia is guided by a single concern, the immediate challenge of ending the violence in South Ossetia, protecting the civilian population, the majority of which are Russian citizens, and the prompt restoration of peace

Dmitry Medvedev gave his fundamental assessment of the situation in South Ossetia in a telephone conversation with President of the United States George W. Bush.

In the conversation it was stressed that the Georgian side had taken aggressive action against civilians and Russian peacekeepers. The consequences of the barbaric acts planned and implemented by the Georgian leadership are enormous: more than a thousand casualties, tens of thousands of refugees, mass destruction and what amounts to flouting the right for life of an entire people.

Russia is guided in these circumstances by a single concern, the immediate challenge of ending the violence, protecting the civilian population, the majority of which are Russian citizens, and the prompt restoration of peace. Within the framework of its peacekeeping mission and in accordance with the mandate given by the international community, Russia will resolve the problem of forcing the Georgian side to accept peace and of protecting the lives and dignity of its citizens, as required by the Constitution, the laws of the Russian Federation and the rules of any civilized country.

The President of Russia stressed that the only way out of the tragic crisis initiated by the Georgian leadership in Tbilisi is the withdrawal of its armed forces from the conflict zone, the return to the process of peace agreements and, most importantly, the signing of a legally binding agreement abjuring the use of force. The President expressed his hope that the U.S. and other countries interested in establishing stability and security in the Caucasus will act in a similar fashion.

***

AUGUST 9, 2008

The head of state held a meeting on providing humanitarian assistance to the population of South Ossetia

The President stated that those responsible for the humanitarian catastrophe in South Ossetia should be brought to justice, including before international law.

As the head of state emphasized, our task consists in helping overcome the effects of a humanitarian catastrophe in the conflict zone.

The President instructed the government cabinet and, in particular, the Emergency Situations Ministry, the Health and Social Development Ministry, and the Federal Migration Service to take all necessary measures to provide prompt humanitarian assistance to the civilian population of South Ossetia.

The meeting’s participants reported on the measures already taken and put forward proposals on how to resolve the existing problems in the conflict zone.

According to Sergei Sobyanin, over the past one and a half days more than thirty thousand people have crossed the border of South Ossetia into Russia. The regions of Russia’s Southern Federal District are providing assistance to them.

Humanitarian goods are being delivered to the Russian regions that border on South Ossetia.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Sobyanin, head of Emergency Situations Ministry Sergei Shoigu, Health and Social Development Minister Tatyana Golikova, as well as Federal Migration Service Director Konstantin Romodanovsky.

***

AUGUST 8, 2008

Dmitry Medvedev made a statement on the situation in South Ossetia

At a meeting with the permanent members of the Russian Security Council, the President declared:

“Russia has maintained and continues to maintain a presence on Georgian territory on an absolutely lawful basis, carrying out its peacekeeping mission in accordance with the agreements concluded. We have always considered maintaining the peace to be our paramount task. Russia has historically been a guarantor for the security of the peoples of the Caucasus, and this remains true today.

Last night, Georgian troops committed what amounts to an act of aggression against Russian peacekeepers and the civilian population in South Ossetia. What took place is a gross violation of international law and of the mandates that the international community gave Russia as a partner in the peace process.

Georgia’s acts have caused loss of life, including among Russian peacekeepers. The situation reached the point where Georgian peacekeepers opened fire on the Russian peacekeepers with whom they are supposed to work together to carry out their mission of maintaining peace in this region. Civilians, women, children and old people, are dying today in South Ossetia, and the majority of them are citizens of the Russian Federation.

In accordance with the Constitution and the federal laws, as President of the Russian Federation it is my duty to protect the lives and dignity of Russian citizens wherever they may be.

It is these circumstances that dictate the steps we will take now. We will not allow the deaths of our fellow citizens to go unpunished. The perpetrators will receive the punishment they deserve.”

***

ENDS

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