Russia’s actions in South Ossetia well-founded: PutinAugust 10th, 2008 - 2:14 pm ICT by IANS
Moscow, Aug 10 (Xinhua) Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said his country’s actions in South Ossetia are legitimate and well-founded. “From the legal point of view our actions are absolutely justified and legitimate,” Interfax news agency quoted Putin as saying Saturday during a meeting in Vladikavkaz, regional capital of North Ossetia in southern Russia.
He flew to Vladikavkaz from Beijing after attending the Olympic Games opening ceremony after Russian troops entered Gerogia’s breakaway province South Ossetia to repel a Gerogian military offensive.
South Ossetia’s capital, Tskhinvali, suffered damage in the onslaught. Russia said at least 12 of its peacekeepers along with 2,000 South Ossetian civilians had lost their lives.
“In line with effective international agreements, including the 1992 agreement, Russia not only performs peacekeeping functions but in case of violation of the ceasefire agreement by one side is obliged to protect the other, which we did in this case with regard to South Ossetia,” Putin said.
According to the prime minister, 34,000 refugees crossed from South Ossetia to Russia Aug 2-9. He said destruction was massive in the breakaway region, describing the situation as “the humanitarian catastrophe”.
Russia has sent humanitarian aid to the region, including medical specialists, a mobile field hospital and 16 tonnes of medical supplies as well as food for South Ossetian refugees.