BREAKING! Putin Addresses Nasty Situation Broiling in Georgia; Rules Out Sanctions For Now!
This is Rossiya 24. We'll talk about Yekaterinburg again. We've just received the first footage of the president's conversation with the journalists.
- What do you think about the new center of Yekaterinburg?
- We have a question about Georgia.
- Really? We're at such a good international event connected with technology. Does it show any successes in using advanced technology?
- There were some ugly, unprecedented words about you.
- State Duma deputies proposed to impose an embargo. It'll apply to certain goods and money transfers. When will you make a decision about it?
- You know, it'll take a while to fully answer this question. But I'll tell you briefly what I think about it. For this, for you to understand what I'm guided by, you need to look into the past, history. Look. Ossetia became a part of the Russian Empire in 1774, as far as I remember. As a whole, both its southern and northern parts. It joined as an independent state. Abkhazia joined it in 1810 as an independent state, a principality, as well. Later, events began to take place within a single state. The southern part of Ossetia became part of Tiflis Governorate. No Georgia existed, there was the Tiflis Governorate.
Abkhazia developed in the following way. When the Russian Empire collapsed after WWI, Georgia made attempts to take over Abkhazia. The independent Georgian state appeared. And with the help of German troops, Georgia occupied Abkhazia in 1918. The occupying forces acted very harshly. The Georgian troops acted even more harshly in Ossetia in 1919 and 1920. In essence, this was what we call today "genocide".
The current Georgian authorities should know that. One should never forget it. If the current Georgian authorities want to improve relations with the people of Abkhazia or South Ossetia. In the times of the USSR, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia was created first, by the way. Modern Georgia then became part of it. It wasn't even Georgia. In the times of Stalin, the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic was created. Abkhazia became a part of it. By the way, our human rights activists never pay attention to that. This is even strange. By Stalin's instruction, the NKVD, headed by Beria, took very harsh measures with respect to Abkhazians. They were really harsh. I don't want to even describe them now. They wanted Georgia to take over that territory and the Abkhazian people. That difficult heritage, which one of the first presidents of modern Georgia not only failed to take into consideration but simply ignored when he abolished any autonomy that Adjara, and Abkhazia, and so on had. All this led to fallout and fratricidal war. I tried to convince Saakashvili, I said, "Saakashvili, you should prevent any military action with respect to Abkhazia or South Ossetia." I told the Americans the same thing. They said that they wouldn't do it. And look at what they did. They brought a war there. Look at the result. We can see it today. Russia just had to recognize the independence of those republics and protect the peoples of both Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Why am I telling all this? These anti-Russian sentiments in Georgia are promoted by the people who either don't know anything or they do but ignore it, and they ultimately do irreparable harm to Georgia and the Georgian people. All the rest is the result of it. Fights and insults are the results of it. We should treat it in a serious and profound manner, not react to some performance by some scumbags.
As to various sanctions with respect to Georgia, I wouldn't want to do that, mainly because I respect the Georgian people. One person came up and said something, pretending to be someone. Nobody knew him before. Now, everyone is talking about him. In this sense, he achieved what he wanted. They suspended him from work for two months, and he went on vacation. He'll return and continue to work.
But there are people in Georgia, who protest against it. For the sake of those people, to restore full-fledged relationship between Russia and Georgia, I wouldn't like to take any measures, which would complicate our relationship.
- State Duma deputies and other politicians suggested that a criminal case be opened against the Georgian journalist for insulting the government.
- That's too good for him. To open some criminal cases is too good for him. He can continue to broadcast.