It remains to be seen exactly what outcome Russia is hoping for in South Ossetia. At a UN Security Council meeting, the US and Russia exchanged sharp words on the issue. Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Ambassador to the UN, said: “Is the goal of the Russian Federation to change the leadership of Georgia?”
Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s UN Ambassador, replied: “I suggest that I have given a complete response. Maybe the ambassador was not listening when I gave my response. Maybe he did not have his earpiece in.”
Later the ambassadors elaborated on their positions. Khalilzad said: “The days of overthrowing leaders by military means in Europe, those days are gone. Russia, there is a danger its nostalgia about the past is reflecting itself.”
Churkin said: “Regime change is purely an American invention, purely an American invention. We never apply this terminology in our political thinking and certainly we are all for democracy in Georgia.”
While the UN continues to try to find a common stance, the Georgian President today repeated his claim that Russia wants to oust him.