Statement by Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Georgian authorities undertook a hostile new attack against Russia. Speaking on national television, Mikhail Saakashvili delivered himself of a whole slew of accusations, mentioning both the old tired claims against our peacekeepers and the Russian spy scares. Something new also emerged: it turns out, the mass protests in Georgia are likewise the handiwork of Moscow.
Thus the Georgian leadership continues carefully shaping an enemy image in the person of Russia. The reasons why they do so are clear. They must justify the obvious failures of the economic and social policy of the present government, the plight of the population, their unwillingness to constructively tackle the problems with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the authoritarianism of the country’s leadership and, finally, the scorn for democratic freedoms, which found more than vivid expression in the latest events on the streets of Tbilisi.
For the umpteenth time the Georgian authorities substitute banal attempts to put everything down to the “designs of an external enemy,” and indiscriminately declare those discontented their agents, for a responsible and honest approach to the numerous internal problems.
The spirit of Saakashvili’s speech boils down to but one thing: in the face of an external threat, the citizens of Georgia supposedly must forgive the president all his sins and resign themselves to his “establishing order heavy-handedly.”
Moscow regards this fresh escapade of the Georgian authorities as a politically irresponsible provocation. An adequate answer will be given to it. However, Russia will remain true to its commitments to assist settlement of the Georgian-Abkhaz and Georgian-Ossetian conflicts and to defend the Russian citizens living there. The main thing is to see that the calculations of certain Tbilisi leaders to solve the conflicts by force are not brought to fruition. We will not succumb to the mounting provocations, and will remain a reliable guarantor of peace and order in the region, acting in full accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law.
We would like to call on those who have a direct influence on Tbilisi to caution the Georgian leadership against further destructive steps, fraught with unpredictable consequences. The promises to do so were given to us more than once. We hope that they are kept.
November 7, 2007