Monday, May 11, 2009

Matthew Bryza: US will help Georgia defend its "remaining territory"

США помогут Грузии защитить свою "оставшуюся территорию": Мэтью Брайза

In an interview with radio station "Echo of Moscow" , Deputy Assistant US Secretary of State Matthew Bryza stated that the US will never recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The American diplomat stated that Russia had been provoking the situation in the zone of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict during the last four years, and that the US had convinced Tbilisi not to give into the provocations.

"We had successfully convinced Georgia to be patient, to not react to any of these provocations, and up to a point, we were successful. Up to August. Ultimately, it was just too much. We have said, and I myself have said many times, that Georgia made a mistake when it launched the attack on Tskhinvali. But the war didn't start with that attack. The war had begun several days, even a week, before this," stated Bryza.

Matthew Bryza also believes that the missions of the OSCE and UN in the zones of the Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-Ossetian conflicts should be continued.

Answering a question about the delivery of arms to Georgia, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State stated that the US never delivered offensive arms to Georgia. "Other countries did that," he remarked. As for deliveries of anti-tank and air defense munitions, Bryza said that "they were only for defense."

"Now we are helping Georgia develop a new approach, a new military doctrine. We must help them think differently. To think that, first of all, it needs to defend its territory. I mean, well, you understand, territory. I don't mean Abkhazia and South Ossetia, I mean the remaining territory. And to prepare Georgia to make contributions to international operations in other countries, including in the framework of NATO, in the future," said the American diplomat. "We believe that if we help the Georgian army be professional, this is good for both Russia and Georgia. And I would add that currently, Russia is not fulfilling its obligations according to the agreements of August 12, September 8 and UN resolution 1866. Because Russia has the obligation to withdraw its forces to pre-war positions. And Russia has increased the number of forces. Earlier, they numbered 4,500 ; now they number more than 10,000. Russia is going in a different direction, one that does not coincide with its obligations, " he stated.