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Medvedev criticizes U.S. Senate over Georgia resolution

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Uploaded on Aug 5, 2011

Medvedev criticizes U.S. Senate over Georgia resolution

05.08.11

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev chided "senile" U.S. senators on Thursday (August 4) for urging Moscow to withdraw troops from Georgia`s breakaway regions.

The Senate resolution reiterates Washington`s long-standing call for Russian troops to comply with the terms of a ceasefire ending its five-day war with Georgia in August 2008 and withdraw from the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Speaking in his first interview with Georgian media since the war, Medvedev said the U.S. Senate resolution reflected the opinion of a few senators.

"I believe that these statements of the (U.S.) Senate are not based on anything. They reflect the views of some of its senile members, which have a liking for certain people for their internal reasons. This is a foreign parliament and it is their own business. I don`t care about them or their rhetoric," Medvedev said.

The comments were a rare barb at Washington from Medvedev, who has worked closely with U.S. President Barack Obama`s team to oversee a much-touted "reset" in relations between their two countries following a low ebb over the Georgia war.

Medvedev said that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili made the decision to stage a military assault to retake its rebel South Ossetia region, sparking the war with Russia, after then-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Tbilisi in a show of U.S. support.

"Quite an obvious thing for me - after I later analyzed the situation - was the visit of the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (to Georgia). After that, my (Georgian) colleague stopped communicating with me, he stopped writing, calling, stopped all connections. Probably that was the time when new plans (to go to war) appeared, and they were put into effect," Medvedev said.

Medvedev said he ruled out the possibility of renewing diplomatic relations with Saakashvili.

"Saakashvili committed a crime against the Russian Federation and its citizens. Hundreds of our citizens including our peacekeepers were killed by his order. I will never forgive him for that. And that is why I will never communicate with him, although he tries to wink at me on the sidelines of various international events. As for all the other (Georgian leaders) - with pleasure," Medvedev said.

Moscow has had severed diplomatic relations with Georgia since the 2008 war, a fact which Medvedev said he regretted.

"Sooner or later Mikheil Saakashvili will stop being a president of Georgia. This is the rule of political life. And in this case the new president, whoever it will be, will have an opportunity to have a normal and productive relationship with Russia. Moreover, I want to say that it is also painful for me that our countries don`t have normal relations. Our countries and our people are very close. And if it wasn`t for this idiotic adventure, then even such a complicated political process could have been dragged on for years and in the end (we) could come up with a reasonable solution," Medvedev said.

The Russian president also urged Georgia not to block Russia`s entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO), saying Russia`s chances of joining the WTO this year were high but it still faced political obstacles from Georgia, which has threatened to use its veto to block Russia`s accession unless a dispute over customs controls is resolved.

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