Medvedev exclusive: We’re not afraid of Cold War

With the Russian parliament backing the independence of the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, President Dmitry Medvedev gives his views on the issue in an exclusive interview with RT.

RT: Immediately after Kosovo’s independence was recognised, Moscow said this could become a precedent for South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Today, you made a decision to support these republics’ independence. Why did Russia do it? Does this square with international law?

Medvedev: I'll start with your second question. This is fully in line with international law. When the case of Kosovo arose, my colleagues said this was a special case, or, as experts in international affairs say, casus sui generis. Well, each case of such recognition is a special case. The situation in Kosovo was special, and the situation in South Ossetia and Abkhazia is special as well.

In our situation, it is quite obvious that we made this decision in order to prevent genocide and annihilation of these peoples, and to help them to come to their feet. These unrecognised republics have been struggling for their independence for seventeen years now. Despite all attempts by the international community, no progress was made during this time. Until just recently, we tried to help restore the state unite of Georgia. However, it didn’t work.

The decision to launch an aggression buried all hopes of achieving an agreement. Thus, under current circumstances, the only way to preserve these peoples is to recognise them as subjects of international law, to recognize their state independence.

That is why our decision is fully in line with international law, the UN Charter, Helsinki declarations and other international documents.

RT: Is Russia prepared for a long and tough confrontation with leading world powers that the decision it made today may lead to? And, in general, aren’t we afraid of the prospect to enter another Cold War?

Medvedev: We are not afraid of anything, the prospect of another Cold War included. Of course, we don't want that. In this situation, everything depends on the stand of our partners in the world community, our partners in the West. If they want to preserve good relations with Russia, they will understand the reason for making such a decision, and the situation will be calm. But if they choose a confrontational scenario, well, we‘ve been through all kinds of situations, and we’ll survive.

RT: You have signed the six-point agreement. One of the points says Russia should pull its troops out of Georgia. Nevertheless, Russia is still being accused of not meeting this obligation. Is this true? Are there Russian troops left in Georgia?

Medvedev: That's not true. Russia has fully met its obligations stemming from the six principles of the so-called Medvedev-Sarkozy agreement. Our troops have been withdrawn from Georgia, except for the so-called security corridor.

RT: The presidential campaign is underway in the US. Both candidates have spoken more than once on Russia’s actions in Georgia. Don’t you think this situation is being used as an instrument for the political struggle inside the US?

Medvedev: Well, as far as I know, usually during the elections in the United States of America, voters are quite indifferent to what is happening abroad. But if one of the candidates managed to use this question, well, godspeed him. The main thing is that it should not lead to international tensions. I have no doubt that both candidates will try to spin this situation for his purposes. But such are the rules of the election campaign.