Bush says fighting must stop

George W Bush is calling on all sides in the South Ossetian conflict to end hostilities. In his first statement since violence erupted, The US President has said there must be a return to the status-quo.

The president said the US is working with its European allies to launch international mediation. He added that his administration was working with all sides in the conflict to restart dialogue.

Meanwhile, Russia’s envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, has sent an official note to representatives of all member countries in Brussels in connection with Georgia’s military actions against South Ossetia. He’s calling on them not to support Mikhail Saakashvili.

“Russia has already begun consultations with the ambassadors of the NATO countries and consultations with NATO military representatives will be held tomorrow,” Rogozin said. “We will caution them against continuing to further support of Saakashvili.”

Rogozin says Georgian aggression against South Ossetia is obvious.

“It is an undisguised aggression accompanied by a mass propaganda war,” he said.

Rogozin has linked Friday’s onslaught to the support given to Saakashvili at the recent NATO summit in Bucharest.  At the meeting, Rogozin says, it “was hinted Georgia has prospects in NATO.”

South Ossetia close to humanitarian disaster – Russian FM

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says he hopes Georgia’s Western partners take note of what has happened in South Ossetia and draw conclusions.

“It all confirms our numerous warnings addressed to the international community that it is necessary to pay attention to massive arms purchasing by Georgia during several years. Now we see how these arms and Georgian special troops who had been trained by foreign specialists are used,” he said.

The FM also accused the Georgian authorities of ignoring the UN Security Council’s call to observe a ceasefire during the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Russia is attacking Georgia – Saakashvili

Meanwhile, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili told CNN on Friday that Russia “is waging war against Georgia”.

He said it was in the interests of the USA to help Georgia.

“It concerns not only Georgia -it concerns the U.S. and its values. We are a freedom-loving country which is being attacked,” Saakashvili said.

Georgia has called on the U.S. and other countries to put pressure upon Russia “to put an end to a military aggression” in South Ossetia, Georgian ambassador to the U.S. Vasil Sikharulidze told the American media on Friday.

“We ask our friends, including the U.S., to be mediators and try persuading Russia to stop this military aggression and incursion into Georgia,” Sikharulidze said.

Earlier U.S. president George W. Bush said the U.S. supports the territorial integrity of Georgia.  

“Saakashvili is a murderer”

The President of the breakaway republic of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity claimis about 1,400 people have been killed by Georgian shelling.
 
“It is the third genocide of the Ossetian people from the side of Georgia, and Saakashvili is the main murderer,” Kokoity said.