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tv   [untitled]    August 5, 2011 6:31am-7:01am EDT

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we'll. bring you the latest in science and technology from around the world. we've got the future covered. plenty. more news today violence is once again flared up plumes these are the images cobol has been seeing from the streets of canada. trying to look for a shelter on the day. look. with
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. the top stories now. to continue. following similar grim trading in asia. u.s. economic deepening the eurozone. reform with the opposition. the protesters are rejecting president change.
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but critics say it's a political tool to try and split the country. for the third anniversary of the south korean war president talks to russian and georgian media about actions and consequences. better question mr president thank you very much for agreeing to answer our questions then let us go back to the events of two thousand and eight back then you met with the georgian president mikheil saakashvili your meeting took place in st petersburg and there was an impression at that point both in tbilisi and in moscow that we had arrived at some sort of an accord and the dispute would not be allowed to put over into an armed conflict and i reiterate that this feeling was present both in moscow and into the sea could you tell us that he managed to agree on anything with the georgian president back then . but you know catherine i had the same impression at the time but i can still recall meeting president saakashvili for the first time it was in some petersburg
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we met in the constantine palace and mr secretary arrived i told him literally little but you know there are many problems in the region at the moment georgia is an obstacle of these unrecognized states but i can assure you that as a newly elected president of russia i shall do everything in my capacity to help you find some compromise solution that would accommodate everyone and would eventually facilitate a reintegration of georgian territory that's acceptable for all the parties in that cage a negotiation naturally this is what i told him what word for word and his response was spot of course we are ready to cooperate and i also have this impression that we could at least try to find some creative solutions if not a new chapter in time but first of all there was an opportunity to meet on a regular basis which i can tell you earnestly i spent the next month checking regularly for any feedback from our georgian counterparts. but at the same time georgia was getting more and more visits from envoys from across the ocean as they
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would be double. shifts the moment of truth for me as i realized later while analyzing those events in hindsight over and over again came with a visit by u.s. secretary of state condi lisa rice following that visit my georgian colleague simply dropped. all communication with us he simply stopped talking to us he stopped writing letters and making phone calls it was apparent that he had some new plans now and those plans were implemented later. mr president am i correct to assume that the way you see that visit by the u.s. secretary of state was meant to urge president saakashvili. do you think the united states was deliberately encouraging georgia to pursue a conflict with almost no i don't think so the united states is a very large country headed by pragmatic people but in politics connotations a nuance is a very important as it is i don't believe the american said georgia's president to invade but i do believe that there were certain subtleties and certain hints made
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statements like it's time to restore constitutional order or it's time to be more assertive which could effectively feed saakashvili apparent hopes that the americans would back him in any conflict that they would stand up for georgia and even go to war with the russians therefore i do see a relation between ms rice's visit to georgia and the events that followed just as i see a link in my further discussions with the u.s. president our phone conversation and then our meetings at that. so there was no green light from the white house this is a phrase they often repeat when analyzing the war of two thousand and eight it must have been green lighted by washington well i would have to at least have some official information or intelligence reports to be able to make such a statement i don't have them but we can make an analysis of my georgian counterpart ceased all communication with us following the visit by conda lisa rice maybe that was just a coincidence but i'm almost absolutely sure that that was when they came up with
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a plan for the military gamble which in shoot in august two thousand and eight. mr president war represents a failure of diplomacy looking back at the situation three years later what would you have done in a different way what is it that russia failed to do. event there will be. i can tell you frankly had i realized back in july two thousand and eight that mr saakashvili was nurturing such plans in his inflamed hind maybe i would have addressed him in an even tougher way and i would have tried to drag him out of his environment at home get him to come to russia some third country in order to talk to him simply talk him out of this but of course i had no idea so when it all happened even though we had been aware that there were plans in georgia to restore their territorial integrity through the use of force i still thought it was a paranoid scenario that would never become reality you always keep hoping that common sense will prevail over this kind of rationale that is why i was surprised
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by what happened on august the eighth and i've explained it many times i realized that by unleashing this war. personally devoted his country to destruction and that is the scariest part both for him and for the georgian people. russian forces reached p.c. . i believe that the peace enforcement operation which took five days was a mission accomplished our mission was not to capture tbilisi or any other city in georgia our only objective was to halt the invasion that saakashvili had unleashed besides i'm neither a judge nor an executioner i'd like to stress once again that it's up to the people of georgia to assess saakashvili and decide his fate through a democratic vote well maybe they could also use other means the way it sometimes happens in history but deposing saakashvili by force who's not on my agenda back then and i can tell you earnestly i still think it was the right decision even
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though it would have been a piece of cake. one more question in here are they still believe that initial response was legitimate self-defense the further actions of the russian troops were excessive why wasn't it an option to push the georgian forces out of the set and stop at that point to thank you of course. you know sophie people are free to make speculations like that and i have come across the many times try putting yourself in the shoes of russia's commander in chief my shoes that is a sure sure we could have merely forced them out and stopped there but what we're hearing from georgia. back to our initial position and our american friends and that allies will. get on the aircraft and what not and then we should resume the same offensive with renewed vigor. with letting them do that would have been a crime against the memory of those who died protecting their land and therefore
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our mission at the time was to destroy georgia's war machine so that it wouldn't be able to target civilians i said. on the russian federation because as you know it's all mixed there let. them. surprised us you were referring to the peace and foursomes operation and i keep thinking back to today libya and syria when do you consider it acceptable to step. to russia now for deciding whether it's ok to launch a peace it wasn't me she's got here is russia be lenient to gadhafi in libya and here it is imposing sanctions against syria how do you accommodate your decisions on georgia back then and russia's stance on today's prices. you see alexey it's always case by case there are no identical countries and there are no identical solutions i guess it's clear to you what is going on in libya there's a man who has been running the country for forty years and at some point he decided to use force against his own people this was condemned by the entire international
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community including russia which is we're not. taking any part in the military campaign reza few nations are attempting to instill order in libya through military means we don't think it's the right thing to do with them but there is one nuance you should keep in mind georgia had been split into three parts by the time of the door which should have been about pulling the country back together for them rather than merely restoring constitutional order of libya is still in one piece such a risk does exist for libya but so far the parties in the conflict ending the so-called rebels in the program daffy forces have pledged to preserve their country's territorial integrity so the situations are quite different however i'm not saying this to explain how we make decisions i'm merely trying to demonstrate that all of these situations and scenarios are totally diverse this goes for other countries as well. what about syria and. syria is a more complex issue but sadly their situation has been unfolding in
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a very dramatic way so far. all of us practical politician should keep a close watch on the developments in that country but gadhafi for one had issued unequivocal orders to slaughter opposition activists by contrast syria's president never did anything like that unfortunately people are dying in syria in grave numbers and that arouses our deepest concern that therefore in my discussions with president assad during our personal conversation and in our correspondence i've been advocating one principle idea that he should immediately launch reforms reconcile with the opposition restore civil authority and start developing a modern state should he fail to do that he's in for a grim face and we will eventually have to take some decisions on syria to naturally we've been watching developments very attentively the situation is changing and so are our objectives. and it answers the rest of the parts of this is
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a look at some of the numbers in the wake of the. in two thousand and eight russian envoy said the representatives of south us thanked his de facto government that the fighting in simi valley had claimed two thousand lives that was the number that was the now that later on russia's investigative committee an estimate of the casualties it now moves one hundred fifty people meanwhile it was this alleged toll of ten thousand this would serve as one of the main reasons for launching this so-called peace important operation how do you account for this discrepancy now three years after that. i have explained by rationale for taking a decision on the numerous occasions you see i didn't get any figures for lotus nation this isn't exactly a place for mathematics let me remind you what was going on the last little bit on the night between august the seventh and the eighth i received a phone call from the defense minister i was on that occasion of the sailing down the volga river and the whole world was looking forward to the olympics that were
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about to take off in china the minister told me that georgia had launched a full scale combat. to be honest my initial reaction was completely down i told the minister we should check this really completely out of his mind maybe it's just a provocative act and maybe he stress test satins trying to send us some kind of message and i will later minister reported to me this is no bluff. and they're using grad rocket launchers and. i said all right i'll wait for another . some more time if asked in the minister called again i have something to tell you i believe they've just leveled up ten full of our peacekeepers killing every one of them what was i supposed to do i said return fire and shoot to kill or no figures had been announced at that point unfortunately such situations are always a bad situation reports and incident and difficult for them as to which i can tell
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you that was the hardest night of my life. casual stylish started coming in later i mean just what they did divergent deal done they still do i'm not a detectives nor a forensic expert on what i don't perform exhumations. friends and colleagues tell us that many bodies were buried back that underlay missing to this day and night meanwhile georgian analysts present different estimates was that you know we can use this kind of logic two thousand lives is serious enough for a one hundred fifty doesn't even qualify as casual response would be sexually. mr president you said you give the order to return fire that are the operation continued after the heavy weapons rolled in and they don't do to an all out war could you tell us about how you made the decision to continue the operation and another question that all our colleagues would like answered you who called him first did you call prime minister putin in beijing first or did he call you how did you and the prime minister going to move. the first time i contacted him about that
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conflicts just it was about twenty four hours after it had broken out someone who was involved was already ablaze well mr putin just made a statement condemning tbilisi's move that was the right thing to do of course we spoke twenty four hours after the attack over a secure line i do understand it's not very appropriate to discuss matters like this by south korea so it's also a lot of trouble to establish a security line with someone who's in a different country so that we taught them to talk you know when he came back i mean even before his return i called a meeting of the security council i explained my position my decision to return fire and engage in a conflict with the security council members voiced their support for my decision that will sometime later we had the meeting in saudi which mr putin attended with. relation to this we have to mention mr sarkozy who was at the time chairman of the european union. i can't talk about him without a smile unlike the other president we discussed today because i like him and.
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i see. according to some it was sarkozy who persuaded you to follow the russian forces march towards. thumb of course not no head of state is capable of talking another head of state into anything look at the world trying to talk him down to giving up with have they persuaded him to do anything you know and i don't think they will but surely he would sooner die in his bunker let me stress this again taking cities was never our goal our goal was to stop the war machine which was at that time aimed at two breakaway territories and regrettably at our citizens. he did was very kind he called me and said i heard there was a conflict do you want me to fly over to moscow i said i would be happy to serve him which then he told me i'm currently chairing the e.u. i could come over to discuss the incident natural but he's very good at this sort of thing you know and he loves doing it he came to moscow and we talked i explained my position to him what he told me i understand and i agree. some things i will be
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able to say in public some i won't but regardless of that i want to have a part in stopping this conflict i told him all right let's put a plan together that plan was later called the end of the ceasefire. i told him he could take the plan to georgia the best thing about what he did with probably that he had the courage to come to russia at a time when literally everyone was talking about what. he was brave enough to go on to georgia with our initiatives and he gonna dissatisfactory reaction from the georgian authorities president secretary first and foremost. that was his contribution to the diplomatic corps that helped solve the conflict. in the west it's a belief that recognizing up. is not in accordance with the spirit of the peace treaty the medieval sarkozy plan which at the end of the war called for the return of the armed forces to the pre-war positions by russia though just to sovereignty of his
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republics and kept its armed forces in the region right now there are russian military bases you know. how did sarkozy the co-author of the plan react to this i can say that i never discussed the matter with him he did not come to moscow to discuss that he was never involved in the latter of course i can tell you that he knew several other representatives disapproved of the decision but they told us we were creating problems for ourselves i heard them but pleasing all partners in my priority when i made this decision. as for the medvedev plan it was not about the breakaway republic the plan was aimed at stopping the war but saakashvili has undertaken had caused in that sense it was a complete success russia's position on the vat is quite simple probably. the plan carried out and it was successful i consider all other interpretations of the events to be wrong but i see. and recently
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president sarkozy have said there was still waiting for the present material to completely give us our cause. i can tell you one thing that france has its own position and so does the e.u. these positions are different from ours we can't do anything about that they're just different i believe i have fully completed the milieu plan with the plan said nothing about russia not recognizing abkhazia and south of santiago or anything of the sort as for the retreat our forces have retreated to what russia believed to be their pre-war position which is. to say you are regarding the e.u. and international perception of the conflict in the us and when you have been criticizing russia for failing to complete. the plan in addition the u.s. senate recently stated that like the european parliament they believe that russia's actions in georgia have led to the occupation of twenty percent of georgia territory as
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a liberal leader how do you feel about them phrasing it that way. that sense of. i think that as the liberal leader of a modern and developing russia i can only give one possible answer these statements are unfounded they reflect the preferences of certain senior citizens in the senate who is due to nonobjective reasons have aligned themselves with certain individuals that's completely up to them but we are talking about a foreign a problem and i do not much care about how they phrase their statements my position is different it is embodied in the decrees i've signed over that difficult period much i will be frank with you although you may disagree i am not ashamed of having signed those decrees not only am i not ashamed i believe these decisions were much needed and they were right there was no other way to stop the tragedy those decisions were very difficult to make. i realize what sort of repercussions they might bring up so i can tell you that i have had long discussions with my aides
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about these decrees and we saw no obvious solution to the crisis at first nevertheless i think the decisions i made were well thought out the essence of it was to recognise the territories as subjects to international law so we could protect them as well as for what that might bring a question that inevitably follows no one knows you know i would be very happy if i were georgian abkhazia and south of setian authorities went to the negotiating table to discuss how they would continue living side by side how peace and security could be enforced in the region what the future holds for their closely related peoples what they could create together i would be happy if it came to that russia would never obstruct such negotiations. we have talked about the reactions of the u.s. senate and the european parliament you know ask you about how our partners in the collective security treaty organization and c.i.s. reacted not a single member. of the shanghai cooperation organization supported russia's
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actions these are countries that split themselves russia's allies and partners they didn't support russia's actions and they did not recognize the breakaway was how do you feel today when you discuss the matter with officials from go to. let me tell you how it went when the conflict broke out i called for a c.s. . i spoke to my partners and i told them that i had to make a difficult decision i told them i did not expect anything from them i understood how hard it would be for them to make a decision of that sort i said a lot of you have territorial issues a lot of you have economic problems the world we live in is complicated and i wanted to go ahead and floor the decision we've made is final but that does not mean i'm asking you to recognize these new republics if you do recognize them it will be by your own decision if you do not our position will not change now i may be a young and liberal president but i do have some experience and i realize that i would
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not find many supporters after having made that admission but that is another matter. today there are no political forces in georgia who would accept. and this means that even with those who will come after saakashvili will have fundamental differences. we have our differences of course but they will be people we would be able to negotiate with i'm sure they will be willing to negotiate in spite of all possible disagreements. because for years if georgians continue to vote for the people. for the way the country is going now. some flattering words about saakashvili because unlike president sarkozy he does not seem to be a person worthy of respect. but i could not insult the. people of georgia vote for certain. that is
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a choice made by the people of georgia we will respect that it would probably not have a very good effect on our relations respect the choice of the. you've said that even in your close circles there were differences over whether to recognize a pardon south of. there's a question both in russia and georgia since the end of the war russia has given forty billion rubles in aid to apply. this is a huge amount of money that could have been used for russia's internally what does russia need this for. well we have a lot of programs to help and support other countries a lot of cars here in south a set to right now maybe closest to russia or in diplomatic terms they are entirely dependent on those they are close to us and the russian citizens living there now if we're providing aid to foreign citizens in foreign states then of course we're
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going to provide nearby independent territories with a large share of russian citizens this is normal we used to how god knows who you know i mean insolvent times in the studio. having said that does russia believe an international tribunal should be founded to look into events of the august two thousand and eight but. i look at it as a let us forget about saakashvili for a moment that if it's an international tribunal initiated by one of several states supported by the international community then there is no problem with that but if the tribunals in question is an example of volunteerism if its purpose is to resolve a political problem by removing a leader then i am against it that's the difference but if an international tribunal is called to judge a leader following an international incident then such a tribe you know has the legal competence the higher justice if you will to judge a head of state. but if the tribunals is only motivated by someone's going to
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change the political system of the state i would strongly disapprove. i think what happened there was a flagrant violation of international law. however it would not be possible to rely on russia's position alone on this matter so the creation of such a tribunal is impossible this means the conflict will ultimately be judged by history going to shorter term perspective the voters of georgia who will have to decide which way the country should go. moving on the question of russia's accession to the world trade organization is very relevant these days russia into the w t s w c o wants russia the problem as far as we understand is that george is blocking russia's accession it is the only country that's not seen favor of russia joining the w yes there's been talk about georgia agreeing to agree to russian succession if russia lifts its impact on the imports of georgian goods to make some other concessions is russia willing to barter for it and what is your take on the
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prospect of russian joining. us. that was very well put one but i don't want to do it barter for it that would be a moderate georgia has a position on russia's session we respect that position as we respect the. state as long as that position is in line with the goal set out in the charter trade preferences custom regimes we're ready to discuss it all the important wine and mineral water we will. but the problem is something else in essence our colleagues in georgia trying to force a new edition of the political problem under the guise of w t o a session i'm referring to entry point control over the traffic of goods then they will want to get the e.u. involved our position on this is clear if you want information about the traffic of goods including transit through abkhazia and south of setia we will provide it by
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a modern electronic database. i've agreed to the suggestion is made by the swiss president that's going to exist. and i recently discussed about president obama we're ready to implement the model that switzerland has proposed. however if we try to change current to call reality yes that's serving it as a prerequisite for russia to have a session we won't fall for that. is not too high a price to pay had such a process i have a question about russian georgian relations but not the recent conflict some media have reported that the cia has confirmed georgia's version about the bombing at the us embassy in tbilisi being organized by russia's special services as well as a number of other bombings in georgia some media have reported that some world leaders have confronted you about this can you confirm this or. let me put this plainly no head of state has said anything about this to me georgia might be upset
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about this but this subject is not on my agenda of negotiations with leaders it's just not there the subject was painful in two thousand and eight because of the conflicts laws but now it's off the agenda there is one issue on it was the w.t.f. recession which we're discussing mainly with the us but sometimes with e.u. representatives as for the explosion of the version you mentioned is pure provocative of. will question are you proud of what you didn't it's not an age you ashamed to suffer because of it now the three years have passed how would you describe your emotion. i will try to answer this i don't know if i can do it like a child ward but i will try i suffer to this day because of what happened then i am convinced however that the decision to retaliate and the recognition of the breakaway republics of subjects to international law with the right decisions to make i believe my actions were constitutional not only am i on a show.


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