Russia now a state to be reckoned with: Medvedev

September 6th, 2008 - 9:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Sep 6 (RIA Novosti) Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday the country has emerged as a force to “reckon with” after the Caucasus crisis. “The events in South Ossetia showed that Russia will not allow anyone to infringe upon the lives and dignity of its citizens, that Russia is a state to be, from now on, reckoned with,” Medvedev told the State Council.

He said political pressure on Russia would not yield any result.

“They are trying to subject us to political pressure, but we have got used to it, and they will not be able to do anything,” the Russian leader said.

“The world became different after Aug 8. We were supported by hundreds of millions of people, but have not heard words of support or understanding from those who in similar circumstances spoke about freedom of choice and the necessity to use force to punish an aggressor,” Medvedev added.

Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia Aug 26, two weeks after it had concluded its military operation “to force Georgia to peace.” The operation came in response to an attack by Georgian forces on breakaway South Ossetia on Aug 8.

In an apparent reference to the US, Medvedev said certain nations keep arming Georgia under the guise of humanitarian aid.

“Unfortunately, the arming of the Georgian regime, including under the flag of humanitarian aid, is continuing,” he said.

Russia has now withdrawn its regular troops from Georgia, but insists it can maintain checkpoints in security zones near the regions under the ceasefire deal brokered by France. Moscow has also accused Tbilisi of building up troops near South Ossetia.

Western nations have strongly criticized Russia for its “disproportionate” response to Georgia’s attack and the recognition of Georgia’s breakaway provinces. NATO-Russia cooperation has also been frozen.

Nicaragua has become the first country after Russia to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

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