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Saakashvili: No More Illusions About Russia after Medvedev Speech

President Medvedev’s assertive speech should be a wake-up call for those in Europe who still have any illusions about Russia, President Saakashvili said on November 6.

In his first state of nation address on November 5, Dmitry Medvedev defended the August war with Georgia, announced about the plans to deploy Iskander missile systems in Kaliningrad “to neutralize – if necessary – the [U.S] anti-missile system [in Europe],” to electronically jam the U.S. anti-missile system, parts of which are planned to be deployed in Poland and the Czech Republic, and to give up plans to scrap three Cold War-era nuclear missile regiments.

President Saakashvili told journalists that Medvedev’s speech confirmed his supposition that Russia’s moves in Georgia was not just an isolated case and Moscow would continue its assertive drive “against the democracy.”

“So if anyone has any illusions in Europe, they’d better open their eyes to see what a force they are dealing with and [to see] that [Russia’s August moves in] Georgia was not just an isolated case and an exception,” he said.
“Yesterday’s statement [by President Medvedev] has removed all doubts and questions, which I might have had about what else we could have done – although we have spared no efforts in this regard – to help avert the Russian aggression,” Saakashvili said.

“These people have chosen fierce confrontation and military rhetoric with the democratic states from the very beginning; they had this plan from the very beginning; Georgia, unfortunately, appeared on the forefront of this struggle – that is unfortunately our history and geography; we have stopped most of their attacks – they failed to destroy the Georgian states, but they have not given up military games and blackmailing of the entire world.”

“Something that I have been expecting is now happening,” he continued. “What has started openly in Georgia is now continuing in other directions, towards our friends and allies, so it is not only our struggle… This is a fight of the authoritarian forces against democracy and progress.”

He said that these “authoritarian forces” would be defeated with this type of policy they are pursuing and by getting “more outrageous; by level more threats and by installing more missiles.”

“These are not just missiles, these are Iskander missiles – dozens of them were fired in direction of Georgia,” Saakashvili said. “The Soviet Union was just threatening, then installing [missile systems], but eventually pulling them out; but they [the Russian authorities] are installing and then also firing them [missiles] and we have already seen it happening in Georgia.”

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian)


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