From: MSN NicknameEagle_wng (Original Message) Sent: 8/8/2007 10:44 AM
Mikhail Saakashvili: 'How long can it last?'
Publication time: Today at 12:18 Djokhar time
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili called on the international community to adequately condemn Russia over the violations of the Georgian airspace and the bombing in Gori region of Georgia.
"I don't really see how often it can happen and how much further these intrusions might go before the international community has a really strong reaction", Mikhail Saakashvili said in a meeting with representatives of foreign diplomatic missions, which took place in the afternoon of August 7 at the scene, in the Gori region of Georgia.
President of Georgia and the foreign diplomats inspected the site of missile fell and read the report of the military and the testimonies of local residents.
"The latest incident, like the bombing of the Upper Abkhazia a few months ago, was a provocation calculated for only one reason: to disrupt the peace in Georgia, sowing panic in society and [is aimed at] changing the political course of the country," Mikhail Saakashvili said at the meeting.
"Our response to the provocation will be calm and unity, which they don't expect. We will respond by further construction and development, and do it more quickly, so no one has the illusion that such acts could frighten the multinational Georgia," Georgian president emphasized.
The Georgian side demanded clear and immediate explanations from Russian side for violations of its airspace. This is stated in a press release of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.
"The Russian ambassador in Georgia, Vyacheslav Kovalenko, was summoned by the Deputy of Georgian Foreign Ministry Nikoloz Vashakidze early on August 7. The Georgian side protested against the violations by the military aircraft from the Russian Federation, the Georgian-Russian state border on August 6, the incursions into Georgian airspace and the bombing of the territory of Georgia ", said in the press service of the Foreign Ministry.
The Georgian side considers these actions "as an undisguised aggression and a gross violation of sovereignty of the country."
"Georgian side categorically demanded clear and immediate explanations from the Russian side and presented a note of protest to Russian Ambassador," said in the Foreign Ministry of Georgia.
Meanwhile, Moscow accused Tbilisi of bombing its own territory.
"The fact that SU type aircraft are available to the Georgian airforce (South Ossetian side do not have aircraft at all) permits the assumption that certain forces, acting on the screen (it is enough to recall the March shelling in the Kodori Gorge in Abkhazia), continue to escalate the situation surrounding the conflict in Georgia. In South Ossetia, these habits of the opponents of normalization are not surprising: whenever there are signs of reaching an agreement by the JCC (the Joint Control Commission), provocation organized to prove ineffective previously established negotiating and peacekeeping mechanisms with the participation of Russia," Russian FM said in response.
In turn, the Georgian Foreign Ministry announced the preliminary results from the Ministry of Defense on the basic parameters of a remote controlled missile dropped on August 6 on the territory of Georgia.
"Investigators identified the weapon as the Russian-made Raduga Kh-58 missile designed to hit radars, the ministry said. The missile, code-named by NATO as AS-11, carried a warhead of 140-kilogram (over 300 pounds) of TNT," Foreign Ministry of Gerogie said.
The report also states that radar records compatible with NATO standards showed that a Russian Su-24 jet had flown from Russia into Georgia and launched a missile, which did not explode.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry emphasized that the Armed Forces of Georgia doesn't have Su-24 jets or above-mentioned missiles.
Georgian experts together with their foreign colleagues continue to investigate the violation of the Georgia's airspace and the bombing of its territory.
The Georgian side said on Monday that two jets with Russian insignia violated Georgia's airspace and performed a missile attack on a radar station in Gori region.
Meanwhile, the United States told Russia on Tuesday "to tone down its rhetoric".
"Rhetoric" of Russia on the incident in the zone of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict increases tensions in the relations between Russia and Georgia and should be toned down, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Matt Bryza said.
According Bryza, the United States is still trying to ascertain the cause of the incident, and asked whether Russia side responsible for the incident, Reuters report. "Clearly, clearly we condemn any attack on Georgian sovereign territory," Bryza told Reuters. "We can't say who did what at this point. We have no indication that Georgia targeted itself. That is for sure."
"Such rhetoric claiming that Georgia attacked itself is not at all helpful. It raises tensions," he said.