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Russian Premier Says Georgia’s NATO Join May Trigger 'Terrible Conflict'

Russian Premier Says Georgia’s NATO Join May Trigger 'Terrible Conflict'

Foreign ministers from Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland, and Ukrainian deputy prime minister paid a visit to Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia on the 10th anniversary of the war.

In an interview to the Kommersant daily on Monday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev - who was president in 2008 - defended Moscow's recognition of the separatist regions as "the only possible step.to maintain durable peace" and "stability in the South Caucasus".

Medvedev also emphasized that in his opinion the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia that emerged after Georgian military attacked Russian peacekeepers in the self-proclaimed republic of South Ossetia could have been avoided.

"I don't think it [the 2008 conflict and Moscow's recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states - TASS] is a problem that will always define relations between Russian Federation and Georgia", he said.

Georgia has been making efforts to restore territorial integrity of the country, said Georgia's ambassador to Turkey on the 10th anniversary of the Russia-Georgia war. "Nowadays no country can change the borders of another country by force", said Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz.

Medvedev warned that NATO's attempt to embrace Georgia could have catastrophic consequences.

Under NATO rules, countries with territorial conflicts can not join NATO. The de-escalation of military operations has made it possible to ease anxiety in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and reach a relationship with the European Union and other countries. A decade on, "aggression against Georgia, Ukraine is part of Russian policy", the FM said, it violates worldwide law and "must be constantly observed by the global community, including a sanctions regime". I hope the United States and its leadership will eventually see this as well. We can't help getting anxious when the circle around our country keeps narrowing as more and more countries join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

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