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10 Aug, 2008 07:27

US partly to blame – ex Georgian FM

Many experts say the military conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia is not in Russia’s interests. The Former Georgian Foreign Minister Salome Zurabishvili says the United States could be partly responsible for the violence in South Ossetia.

In an interview with the France-Presse news agency she commented on the possible reasons behind the military conflict.

“There are many Americans in Georgia training the military forces of the country and monitoring the situation. As I understand, they also supervise the strategic corridor – the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline.

The main purpose behind the conflict is the further strategic orientation of Georgia and an opportunity for the West, I mean the USA and the EU, to count on Georgia and the Caucasus in ensuring the strategic provision of oil”. 

Professor Gerhard Mangott, from the Department of political science at the University of Innsbruck, shared his opinion on who stands to gain from the military escalation in the conflict zone.

“The military assault in South Ossetia was launched deliberately, and the question is by whom? Definitely, not by Russia, as it’s not in the country’s interests,” he said.

Security expert Andrey Demurenko said it will be years before South Ossetians can trust Georgia again:

“Saakashvili should kneel in front of cameras and beg for forgiveness from the mothers of killed sons, the economy should be re-stored, houses and streets rebuilt, families returned”.

He added that it was inevitable that both South Ossetia and Abkhazia would move further away from Georgia and insist on greater autonomy.

“Georgian aggression towards them has just speeded up the process,” Demurenko said.