President Saakashvili’s televised statement at National Security Council Session on the U.S. President’s remarks on Georgia made in Moscow:
Of course we were watching closely this meeting in Moscow, because we know how high the price of this geopolitical situation is for Georgia, for Georgia's future, for security of our citizens and for their welfare.
I think that at last everyone now understands what we have been saying, that Russia had been preparing for the war for a long time. Unfortunately, last year Putin’s government, which was ready to attack Georgia, received some very wrong messages from the west and from our traditional partners.
Many things have happened just because many did not believe that this attack would have taken place. It is a fact that refusal by some of our partners to grant Georgia MAP [NATO Membership Action Plan] at the last year’s Bucharest summit had very grave consequences; I think that they [Russia] made ambiguous conclusions from the Sochi U.S.-Russia summit – it was not an intention of the U.S. side and we know it very well, but the conclusion made by them [Russia] was ambiguous. Their [Russia’s] provocation was not actually responded adequately by the west – and it was a factor as well, which somewhat encouraged Putin to carry out the attack [on Georgia].
Then, you remember, a very strong reaction from the European Union and especially from the United States – although it came with several days of delay; and we have won those several days thanks to heroic resistance from our armed forces; figures are already available – ground force of the enemy was twelve, fourteen times larger, plus 200 aircraft; we have in fact confronted an adversary hundred-fold stronger and our armed forces allowed us to win several days.
After that the U.S. engagement came and it failed Russia’s major goal to materialize – collapse of the Georgian statehood; moving into the Georgian capital and destruction of the Georgian army.
You know that throughout this period Putin has not been hiding disappointment and has been loudly stating that he had his business undone, saying that he had yet to finish his job involving complete control of Georgia, which in turn means control of the Caspian region and restoration of the Soviet Union; and on the other hand he wanted to fully destroy the Georgian armed forces, as they view it as a serious challenge for Russia.
In this situation, of course, there was some risk – and frankly speaking a serious risk – of military attack by Russia on Georgia and on the Georgian capital. But I think that the first serious signal sent by our partners was in the UN Security Council, when for the first time since 1993 Russia had used its right of veto in respect of a regional conflict, which means that Russia appeared to be in complete isolation.
Russia failed to pass an issue, which was very important for Moscow. It failed to trade this issue on some other issues – the practice which it has been usually resorting to in the past, including unfortunately in respect of Georgia as well.
Unlike last February and unlike the Bucharest summit, Russia received a serious signal in New York [at the UN Security Council] now – and here I want to mention a good work of our mission in UN, but we would not have done it alone if not very sharp position of France, without Germany’s strong positions, which was unusual, and without Americans’ very uncompromising position, which was agreed with us.
Everyone was waiting for the [U.S. President’s] meeting with Medvedev in Moscow. Russia was ready to pay high political price, to make deals on disarmament and Iran issues in exchange of Georgia. They were ready to carry out a classical form of trading, like it was taking place in the past and to exchange any other issues for Georgia’s control.
If they managed to succeed in that or even in case of an ambiguous message [from the part of the United States], 1921 would have been repeated [when the Bolshevik Red Army occupied Georgia]. We should have no illusion that Russia will calm down and will reject its plan to control Caspian and Central Asia regions and energy transportation routes, if we announce neutrality. It is not about what kind of relations they have with Saakashvili or with someone else. This is a strategic task when one has imperialist ambitions.
Our new strategic partner, the United States, has responded with firm no to their [Russia’s] attempts to make a trade-off about Georgia. There was no trade-off; Georgia has not been sold.
After Russia has failed to destabilize Georgia – attempts were made in this regard starting from February and March and especially of course from April [when a group of opposition parties launched street protests to demand Saakashvili’s resignation] – it is internal Georgian political problem, but there was some involvement [by Russia] including through serious funding. But they have failed with this plan.
It would have been very difficult to secure support of our partners, if this plan [of Russia] on destabilization had materialized, because it is very difficult to support a country, which is destroying itself and showing suicidal instincts.
But it has failed, hence today on the one hand we have this failed plan of internal destabilization of Georgia and on the other hand the hope for a trade-off over Georgia, which they [Russia] had, has no disappeared.
So today I can say it very boldly: all types of fears and expectations about the threat have not come true and all kinds of hopes about revenge and about carrying out new military confrontation by the aggressive part of our neighbor, which of course wants to take over Tbilisi, has not come true.
They know it very well in Moscow that if the Georgian statehood survives and if Georgia remains a partner of the democratic world, there is not even one per cent of chance for Russia to maintain our occupied territories – this is 21st century, when no one recognizes occupation.
Obama said it clearly: firm support to Georgia’s territorial integrity; firm support to Georgia’s sovereignty over its entire territory and establishing policy in this direction…
…As a result of last year’s aggression, Russia has received a global problem; our problem, which was of local [importance] and which was not in fact of first rate importance, has now turned into a principle matter of the global politics.
So in fact, at the expense of tragedy of our villages [reference to those areas in breakaway South Ossetia which were under the Georgian authorities control before the August war], at the expense of people who have died [in the war] – of course those several dozen of villages are a serious loss for us, as they are temporarily occupied; at the expense of these small territorial gains – and for Russia it was a small territorial gain – Russia has received a serious international problem; Georgia will come out from all this even stronger.
And today I want to say it boldly, that all their aggressive plans for the nearest perspective are foiled and there will be no war, as they imagined it, any more.