A. VERNITSKY (Channel One): Dmitry Anatolyevich,
DMITRY MEDVEDEV: I think this decision was inevitable in the given
situation, and that it has been effective is clear to all now. We really did
try throughout these 17 years to hold together a state that was in effect
coming apart, and we encouraged all possible settlement efforts. Our
peacekeepers were on duty day and night, helping to keep conflict at bay. We
prevented large-scale bloodshed in the 1990s. There would probably have been
continued chances for achieving a settlement were it not for this idiotic
adventure launched by the Georgian leadership, which effectively put an end to
hopes that Abkhazians, Ossetians and Georgians could
live together. Not only did it put an end to these hopes but it caused a great
number of deaths. Civilians, our citizens among them, lost their lives.
Peacekeepers, who were trying to keep the conflicting parties apart, lost their
lives. That Georgian peacekeepers opened fire on their own
colleagues is especially monstrous. All of these things ultimately led to
events taking this most dramatic and serious turn. We were left with no choice
but to respond to this absolutely insolent and brazen attack, return things to
normal and protect the lives and dignity of
K. POZDNYAKOV (NTV): Dmitry Anatolyevich, our
Western partners have responded to
Recognition is a separate issue. I want to remind you that each country makes its own individual decision on recognition. There is no collective action in this situation. Take the example of Kosovo. It is clear that in this situation some countries will agree to emergence of new states, while others will consider their emergence untimely. But according to international law, a new state becomes a subject of law, as the lawyers say, from the moment it gains recognition from at least one other country.
From a legal point of view these new states have come into existence now. The process of their gaining recognition might be a long one, but this will not affect our position. We have made our decision and it is irreversible. Our duty is to ensure peace and calm in the region, and this is the basis for our position.
A. KONDRASHOV (Rossia): What steps will
DMITRY MEDVEDEV: We will help these republics in every way we can of
course. Work is underway on drafting agreements, already international
agreements now, between our countries: between the
A. KONDRASHOV (Rossia): Dmitry Anatolyevich, everyone realises
DMITRY MEDVEDEV: I will make five principles the foundation for my work
in carrying out
Second, the world should be multi-polar. A single-pole world is
unacceptable. Domination is something we cannot allow. We cannot accept a world
order in which one country makes all the decisions, even as serious and
influential a country as the
Fourth, protecting the lives and dignity of our citizens, wherever they may be, is an unquestionable priority for our country. Our foreign policy decisions will be based on this need. We will also protect the interests of our business community abroad. It should be clear to all that we will respond to any aggressive acts committed against us.
Finally, fifth, as is the case of other countries, there are regions in
As for the future, it depends not only on us but also on our friends and partners in the international community. They have a choice.
A.VERNITSKY (Channel One): Dmitry Anatolyevich,
are the priority regions the territories that border
DMITRY MEDVEDEV: The countries on our borders are priorities, of course, but our priorities do not end there.
K. POZDNYAKOV (NTV): Dmitry Anatolyevich, you
DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Of course.
K. POZDNYAKOV (NTV): Perhaps a separate law is needed?
DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Everything has long since been done. The international
community has approved the UN Charter, which states countries’ right to self-defence. We have the Constitution and we have special
Russian laws on which we base decisions on counter-measures, including the use
A. VERNITSKY (Channel One): What about diplomatic and economic sanctions?
DMITRY MEDVEDEV: We are not in favour of sanctions in general and they are something we consider only in extreme cases. But, like other countries, we are sometimes forced to resort to sanctions. A number of countries have special laws regulating the imposition of sanctions, and if needed, we could also adopt similar special laws, but I think this is the most unproductive road.