Reply of the Press and Information Department to a question of the News-Georgia Agency concerning the arrival of the Russian Prime Minister in Vladikavkaz
Question: How will you comment the reports on the arrival of Prime Minister of Russia V. Putin in Vladikavkaz?
Answer: According to the press secretary of the Chairperson of the Russian Government, V. Putin is planning to meet with the leaders of the Republic of North Ossetia and the heads of respective federal agencies to discuss on the ground the issues of rendering humanitarian assistance to the population fleeing the territory of South Ossetia.
The Georgian side has no right to forbid Russian officials to travel throughout their own territory. However, against the background of the Russian Federation’s large-scale military aggression against Georgia, it becomes increasingly obvious that this military campaign is a previously planned provocation by the Russian side, coordinated by Russia’s supreme authorities, V. Putin in particular.
This fact on its part makes clear the Russian Federation’s deliberate use of military force against peaceful population and civilian facilities. Due reference in this context should be made to Russia’s military campaign in 1999 that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of peaceful citizens of Russia. It also needs to be recalled that V. Putin succeeded to the post of President of Russia at this very period.
9 August 2008
Press and Information Department