Michael Saakashvilithe: Kacper Pempel / Reuters
Former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili in 2008 tried to prevent a war with Russia. About ex-head of state said in an interview with radio station “Echo of Moscow”.
“We have done everything to convince them not to fight… (…) In February 2008, was my meeting with [Russian President] Vladimir Putin, where he said, “Well, boys, we are involved in Kosovo (17 February 2008 declared independence from Serbia — approx. “Of the tape.ru”). This is not about you, but we have to retaliate. It will be a bit painful. But it’s not a murder case. But it’s not against you, is against your friends.” To which I said, “Why you all the time hectic to us his people? (…) We are ready to sign any Memorandum with you that we abandon NATO, we refuse any foreign military bases, but instead, of course, your help is eternal peace between Russia and Georgia. Never Georgia will not create any problem to you””, — told Saakashvili.
Putin allegedly told him that “we are your territories for your geopolitical orientation can not change.”
Saakashvili also wrote a letter to Putin. “I thought that in South Ossetia he doesn’t need anything. (…) But Abkhazia, I know that was very interested in the Russians. I said, “Now Abkhazia. You have the Olympics in Sochi. You want the airport of Sukhumi. You need ports, you can use the Spa. You need a railroad. And let’s do it. Let’s legalize all your interests in Sukhumi and to the North of Sukhum”,” — said the ex-President of Georgia. Instead, he asked Russia to give an opportunity to return to Abkhazia of refugees who fled the territory during the armed conflict of 1992-1993.
The former Georgian leader stated that all attempts to prevent armed conflict between the two countries ended without result.
Mikheil Saakashvili was President of Georgia from 2004 to 2013. In 2008, at the beginning of his second presidential term, Georgia sent troops into the breakaway South Ossetia, trying to take the region under its control. After the intervention of Russia, the Georgian military were forced out of the conflict zone. Later, Moscow officially recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Video, photo All from Russia.