|Lavrov: Russia’s S.Ossetia, Abkhaz Decision Irreversible|
|News - Politics|
|Friday, 11 June 2010 19:15|
Asked what did he mean when he said recently that immediately after the August, 2008, Georgia still had a chance to maintain possibility for restoration of territorial integrity, Lavrov responded: “When the purpose of the operation aimed at suppressing the aggression was fulfilled and the Russian President ordered to suspend a military operation, the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan was agreed, which laid the foundation for future actions. Its sixth point contained a provision on the need to launch international discussions over defining the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and ensuring their security. We have undersigned it. So, on August 12, 2008 the Russian President agreed that the status of these regions needed to be discussed on an international level.”
He said that from that point Russia was ready to continue discussions about the status of these two regions.
“The document was agreed. French President Nicolas Sarkozy took it to Tbilisi. Then he called and said that Saakashvili was categorically against discussing the status of these republics and that for him the status was in itself already obvious and this phrase should be removed [from the six-point agreement]. We agreed [to remove it],” Lavrov said.
Responding to a question about calls on Russia to fully fulfill its obligations under the six-point plan, in particular in respect of pulling troops to pre-August war positions, Lavrov said that Russia had already withdrawn its forces, which were sent during the war.
“By that time discussions on the status have been thwarted and revanchist statements, like the war is not yet over, were heard from Tbilisi , so by the end of August  it was decided that there was no other way to provide the security and survival of Abkhazians and South Ossetians, rather than to recognize their independence,” Lavrov said.
“Currently Russian troops are stationed in both South Ossetia and Abkhazia are stationed there based on agreements between Russia and two states recognized by it. Russia has fulfilled the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan in this part.”
“By the way, those people, who say that we should return to the pre-August 8 line, forget that before August 8, 2008 our troops were stationed deep into the Georgia territory, because the peacekeepers were deployed not only in South Ossetia, which was then a part of Georgia, but also beyond its limits. The same situation was respect of Abkhazia. Therefore, if they call on us to move beyond South Ossetia and Abkhazia and to locate on the line, where the security was provided by our peacekeepers before August 8, 2008, I would be glad if we were told about it directly,” Lavrov said.
Source: Civil Georgia