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29 Aug, 2008 16:37

Putin: Russia won’t be isolated

Russia will not be isolated because it protected its citizens and upheld its peacekeeping mission, the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said. In an interview on German TV, Putin suggested that if Russia had not

“I think a country like Russia, that protected its citizens, and fulfilled its peacekeeping duties, won't be held in isolation, no matter what our partners think within the limits of their bloc. Europe and the U.S. are not the whole world,” he said.

He recalled the Srebrenica massacre, when thousands were killed when Dutch peacekeepers didn't intervene in the Balkan war.

The Prime Minister insisted that the Georgian government should be held responsible for its action.

“Speaking about the Georgian leadership, people who wreck the territorial integrity and national identity of their country with their actions shouldn't be ruling that country, be it big or small. They should resign straight away,” he said.

“Of course, it's up to them, but we all remember the precedents that we have in history. Let's remember how U.S. troops entered Iraq, and what they did with Saddam Hussein for destroying several Shiite villages. Here, ten Ossetian villages were destroyed right out,” Putin told ARD TV.

“Aren’t you aware of what’s been going on in Georgia in the last few years? The mysterious death of Prime Mnister Zhvania, fighting with the opposition, the violent dispersal of protest demonstrations, holding a national election during a practical state of emergency, and now this criminal action in South Ossetia with many casualties. You call it a democratic country, negotiating with it, and thinking it should be admitted to NATO and the EU?”
Putin said the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict should be dealt within the frame of international law.

“We don’t have any special rules of our own by which we are going to play. We want everybody to play by the same rules. These are called international law. But we don’t want anyone manipulating them – playing it one way in one region, and another way in another region, to suit their own interests. We want to have the same rules for everyone, which would take into account the interests of all members of the international community”.

Putin underlined that Russia wants neighbourly relations with other countries.

“Russia isn't out to aggravate the situation, or to put pressure on anyone. We want good neighbourly relations and partnerships with everyone,” he said.