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War with Russia in 2008 could be avoided - Ivanishvili

October 25, 2012, 17:04 UTC+3
“These events and processes would not have occurred if Georgia then had normal authorities,” believes new Georgian Prime Minister
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TBILISI, October 25 (Itar-Tass) — The leader of the Georgian Dream coalition that won the parliamentary elections in Georgia, the country’s new Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said that “it was possible to avoid the 2008 war with Russia.” Speaking on Wednesday to members of the United National Movement party (UNM is the parliamentary minority), he said that “these events and processes would not have occurred if Georgia then had normal authorities.” According to him, UNM representatives (the party leader is Mikhail Saakashvili) “have repeatedly said that these events took place because Russia for several years was preparing for this.”

“I have always said and I repeat that Russia not only for years, but for centuries wanted to cross the Caucasus range, but what it could not do for centuries, it managed to do in 2008 because Commander-in-Chief Saakashvili offered it this opportunity,” Ivanishvili said. According to him, “Russia took advantage of the provocation of the Georgian authorities and fulfilled its old dream, as a result of which part of the Georgian territory was occupied.”

Ivanishvili has earlier repeatedly stated - both before and after the October 1 elections - that “for the normalisation of relations with Russia it is necessary to have a balanced approach, weighted statements, actions, and to seek possible spheres of common interests of the two countries, including in security issues.” He accused Saakashvili of “failing to use the opportunities for the improvement of relations with Russia and of making undiplomatic statements about the leadership of the Russian Federation.” Ivanishvili said that he believes that “it is possible to combine the process of the improvement of relations between Georgia and the Russian Federation and Tbilisi’s bid to join NATO, although it will be difficult.” He believes that “Mikhail Saakashvili has very irritated Russia by waving for several years the country’s aspiration to NATO as a red rag in front of a bull.”

 

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