Medvedev calls on Georgian president to resign

August 27th, 2008 - 5:21 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 27 (DPA) Russian President Dimitry Medvedev has issued a thinly veiled call for Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to resign in an article published in the London-based Financial Times Wednesday.Calling Saakashvili a “madman” who had murdered hundreds of largely Russian civilians in an assault on the sleeping city of Tskhinvali, Medvedev said Russians felt “historic friendship and sympathy” for Georgians in general.

“I sincerely hope that the Georgian people… will one day have leaders they deserve, who care about their country and who develop mutually respectful relations with all the peoples in the Caucasus,” he wrote.

Russia would support this goal.

Medvedev compared the situation in the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia with that in Kosovo, accusing western countries of rushing to recognise Kosovo’s “illegal declaration of independence” from Serbia in February this year.

Russia had argued consistently that it would be impossible to deny autonomy to Abkhazians and Ossetians - and others - in the light of the response to Kosovo’s declaration, he said.

“In international relations, you cannot have one rule for some and another rule for others,” Medvedev wrote.

The Russian president accused the Georgian government of discriminating against its minority ethnic groups, charging that it had closed down the Abkhaz university in Sukhumi “on the grounds that they allegedly had no proper language or history or culture and so did not need a university.”

“The newly independent Georgia inflicted a vicious war on its minority nations, displacing thousands of people and sowing seeds of discontent that could only grow,” he wrote.

“These were tinderboxes, right on Russia’s doorstep, which Russian peacekeepers strove to keep from igniting.”

Russia had been forced to respond to Saakashvili’s military assault on Tskhinvali, Medvedev said.

“This was not a war of our choice. We have no designs on Georgian territory,” the Russian leader wrote.

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