Temur Iakobashvili, the Georgian state minister for reintegration, said shortly after the EU-funded report on the last year’s August war was released, that the document denies Russia’s claims that Georgia launched the war.
“This report definitely says that all Russian arguments, which it brought to justify its right to invade Georgia, are incorrect and a lie. The report unambiguously confirms that no genocide has been carried out in the Tskhinvali region [as claimed initially by Russia]. This report unambiguously says that Russia had no right to invade a sovereign state under the pretext of protecting its so called citizens. It says that the passportization, which was conducted there, was illegal. The report says that they have no proof to confirm that the Georgian side killed Russian peacekeepers – as you remember, it was one of Russia’s arguments to attack Georgia. All the three arguments used by Russia have been rejected in the report,” Iakobashvili said.
“I want to emphasize that the document does not mention anywhere that Georgia has launched the war. Any provocations, interpretations around this issue will be a lie. Nothing similar is written in the report. The report says that the war was not launched on August 7 or 8 and that this military provocation was prepared long before.”
“Although a great part of the facts coincides with the facts submitted by us, we do not agree with some assessments included in this report,” he continued.
“First of all, we do not agree with the opinion and interpretation that there was no mass invasion of Russian forces [prior to late August 7 when Georgia says it had to launch defensive operations]; here the report contradicts with itself, as it says that Russian forces, other than peacekeepers, were already deployed there; it confirms that the Russian side was actively arming and assisting the separatists. So, in this case we cannot see any difference between the separatists and the Russians,” Iakobashvili said.
“We also think that the argument included in the document that Georgia used excessive force while attacking Tskhinvali is incorrect because all those facts, we are talking about, incited us to take efficient steps for depending our population,” he said.
“Our decision was justified and it was proved by consequent developments, when we managed to evacuate the majority of our population out of the region. We want to stress that the military action carried out by Russia is an aggression against a sovereign state,” he added.