Putin accuses (Without basis) U.S. of
orchestrating Georgian war
SOCHI, Russia (CNN) August 28, 2008. -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir
Putin has accused the United States of orchestrating the conflict in
Georgia to benefit one of its presidential election candidates.
Russian PM Vladimir Putin has
accused the U.S. of orchestrating the conflict in Georgia (Putin lacks
evidence to justify making this statement)
In an exclusive interview with CNN's Matthew Chance in the Black Sea
city of Sochi on Thursday, Putin said the U.S. had encouraged Georgia to
attack the autonomous region of South Ossetia.
Putin said his defense officials had told him it was done to benefit a
presidential candidate -- Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack
Obama are competing to succeed George W. Bush -- although he presented
no evidence to back it up.
"U.S. citizens were indeed in the area in conflict," Putin said. "They
were acting in implementing those orders doing as they were ordered, and
the only one who can give such orders is their leader."
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino blasted Putin's statements, saying
they were "patently false."
"To suggest that the United States orchestrated this on behalf of a
political candidate just sounds not rational," she said.
U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood concurred and labeled
Putin's statements "ludicrous."
"Russia is responsible for the crisis," Wood said in an off-camera
meeting with reporters in Washington on Thursday. "For the Russians to
say they are not responsible for what happened in Georgia is ludicrous.
... Russia is to blame for this crisis, and the world is responding to
what Russia has done."
When told that many diplomats in the United States and Europe blame
Russia for provoking the conflict and for invading Georgia, Putin said
Russia had no choice but to invade Georgia after dozens of its
peacekeepers in South Ossetia were killed. He told Chance it was to
avert a human calamity. iReport.com: First-person accounts from the
center of the conflict
The former Russian president, still considered the most powerful man in
the country, said he was disappointed that the U.S. had not done more to
stop Georgia's attack.
Putin recalled that he was watching the situation in Georgia and South
Ossetia unfold when he was at the opening ceremony of the Beijing
Olympic Games on August 8.
He said he spoke to U.S. President Bush, also attending, who told the
Russian prime minister he didn't want war, but Putin spoke of his
disappointment that the U.S. administration didn't do more to stop
Georgia early in the conflict.
Also Thursday, Putin announced economic measures that he said were
unrelated to the fighting with Georgia. Nineteen U.S. poultry meat
companies would be banned from exporting their products to Russia
because they had failed health and safety tests, and 29 other companies
had been warned to improve their standards or face the same ban, Putin
Putin said Russia's health and agricultural ministries had randomly
tested the poultry products and found them to be full of antibiotics and
Putin repeated that the bans were not related to the Georgian conflict,
but they indicate the measures that some Western countries --
particularly in Europe -- fear if Russia goes on a diplomatic offensive.
Watch analysis of Russia's relationship with the West. »
Russia is trying to counterbalance mounting pressure from the West over
its military action in Georgia and its recognition of the breakaway
regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
But Russia's hopes of winning international support for its actions in
Georgia were dashed Thursday, when China and other Asian nations
expressed concern about tension in the region.
The joint declaration from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which
includes China, Russia, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, Kazakhstan and
Uzbekistan, said the countries hoped that any further conflict could be
resolved peacefully. Watch more on rising tensions between Russia and
the West. »
"The presidents reaffirmed their commitment to the principles of respect
for historic and cultural traditions of every country and efforts aimed
at preserving the unity of a state and its territorial integrity," the
declaration said, The Associated Press reported.
"Placing the emphasis exclusively on the use of force has no prospects
and hinders a comprehensive settlement of local conflicts," AP quoted
the group as saying.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had appealed to the group at a summit
in Tajikistan on Thursday to support its actions, saying it would serve
as a "serious signal for those who are trying to justify the
On Wednesday, a U.S. ship carrying aid docked in Georgia, while
Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband traveled to the Ukraine,
which is worried about Russia's intentions in the region, to offer the
Miliband equated Moscow's offensive in Georgia with the Soviet tanks
that invaded Czechoslovakia to crush the Prague Spring democratic
reforms in 1968, and demanded Russia "change course," AP reported.