'Russia replicating Georgia strategy in Crimea': Saakashvili

Saakashvili said that Medvedev has planned to "redraw the map of Europe by force" after sending troops into breakaway regions of his Caucasus state.

'Russia replicating Georgia strategy in Crimea': Saakashvili

Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili on Thursday accused Russia of replicating its Georgia strategy in the Crimea by distributing Russian passports.

The Georgian leader wrote that Moscow had "cynically laid the groundwork" for its intervention in Georgia by illegally distributing passports in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, "manufacturing" Russian citizens to protect.

It had used "arson, rape and execution" in the ethnic cleansing of Georgian villages in the breakaway regions.

Saakashvili said that Medvedev has planned to "redraw the map of Europe by force" after sending troops into breakaway regions of his Caucasus state.

He said the next step in Moscow's strategy would be to force "regime change" in Georgia -- his own overthrow. But Russia had much wider aims, he wrote in Thursday's Financial Times.

"Any doubts about why Russia invaded Georgia have now been erased," said Saakashvili.

"By illegally recognising the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's president, made clear that Moscow's goal is to redraw the map of Europe using force. This war was never about South Ossetia or Georgia.

"Moscow is using its invasion, prepared over years, to rebuild its empire, seize greater control of Europe's energy supplies and punish those who believed democracy could flourish on its borders."

"Moscow has flipped the Kosovo precedent on its head: where the West acted to prevent ethnic cleansing, in Georgia ethnic cleansing is being used by Russia to consolidate its military annexation," Saakashvili wrote.

"The next step in Russia's invasion script, of disinformation and annexation, is regime change. If Moscow can oust Georgia's democratically elected government, it can then intimidate other democratic European governments. Where will this end?" He said Medvedev was now replicating its Georgia strategy in the Crimea by distributing Russian passports.

"The message is clear. Russia will do as it pleases," wrote Saakashvili.

"If Moscow is trying to overthrow our government using its lethal tools, let us resist with democratic tools that have sustained more than 60 years of Euro-Atlantic peace. Backing Georgia with Europe's political and financial institutions is a powerful response."

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Ağustos 2008, 12:16
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