Putin’s allegations ‘ludicrous’: US

August 29th, 2008 - 3:28 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 29 (DPA) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s allegation that the US provoked the conflict in Georgia is “ludicrous,” the US State Department said Thursday.”Those types of charges that the United States was involved in instigating it, you know, just are without foundation and just … ludicrous - plain and simple,” State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood said.

Russia must end its occupation of Georgia and comply with an Aug 11 ceasefire designed to end the conflict in the former Soviet Republic over the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Wood said.

“It needs to stop blaming others for the aggression that it carried out against a neighbour,” Wood said.

US President George W. Bush condemned Russia’s decision Tuesday to recognize the independence of the two regions contrary to UN Security Council resolutions. The Security Council held an emergency meeting Thursday in New York.

“Russia is doing a great job on its own in isolating itself,” Wood said.

Putin, in an interview with CNN, said the fighting was triggered by politicians in Washington to somehow influence the outcome of the Nov 4 election to succeed Bush, but he offered no evidence to support his claims and admitted it was “conjecture”.

“The suspicion arises that someone in the United States has specially created this conflict with the aim of aggravating the situation and to benefit one of the candidates in the struggle for the post of president of the United States,” he said at his Black Sea residence in Sochi.

“It’s not only that the US administration could not restrain the Georgian leadership from this criminal act. The American side effectively armed and trained the Georgian army,” Putin said.

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