Medvedev calls Georgian leader a ‘political corpse’

September 3rd, 2008 - 7:53 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Sep 3 (DPA) Russia escalated the war of words over the Georgian conflict Tuesday, calling the former Soviet republic’s political leadership “bankrupt”.”President Mikheil Saakashvili no longer exists for us - he’s a political corpse,” said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in an interview with Italian television RAI. The text of his comments was released by the Kremlin late Tuesday.

Medvedev emphasized Russia’s willingness to help reconstruct in the two regions that were the source of the August conflict.

Russia last week recognised Georgia’s two breakaway enclaves, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, after sending troops into Georgia and the two provinces in August. The US and European Union condemned the recognition and urged Russia to reverse course.

Medvedev emphasised that Russia was not afraid of pressure from the West, dismissing speculation the Bush administration might move to kick Moscow out of the G8 group of industrialised countries as election rhetoric.

Medvedev blamed the US financial crisis for the negative progress of Russia’s own stock markets, and insisted it was not the result of the crisis on the southern Caucasus.

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