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Medvedev: no regrets about South Ossetia and Georgia (24.11.11)

On November 21, Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev visited Vladikavkaz, a city in the Russian part of the Caucasus, and made a speech at the headquarters of the 58th Army, which took part in Russia’s operation to stop Georgia’s aggression against South Ossetia in 2008.

As a result of Georgia’s aggression, hundreds of South Ossetians were killed and thousands were wounded.

Now, President Medvedev is convinced that he was perfectly right when, in the summer of 2008, he ordered the Russian army to interfere in this conflict.

It was not only Ossetians whom we defended then,” Mr. Medevedev said in his speech in Vladikavkaz, “for many Russian citizens live in South Ossetia as well. Besides, Georgia’s aggressive policy presented a threat to neighboring Russian territories. And, I believe, the Russian army coped with its task very well.”

There is another important result of the fact that Russia interfered in that conflict,” the president continued. “By making Georgia reject its aggressive plans, Russia also made NATO think twice before implementing its plans to come closer to Russia’s borders. If the Russian army would have shown a lack of determination in that war, the balance of forces in the whole world would be quite different now. Georgia would have most probably joined NATO, and Ukraine and some other formerly Soviet states would have followed its example.”