Despite a barrage of international criticism, Russia remains defiant over its decision to recognise the independence of Georgia’s breakaway territories. As Moscow’s press weighed up the potential risks of the move, Dmitry Medvedev was resolute. For the Russian President, his country’s actions are fully based on the UN Charter and other rules of global governance. He said: “The only way to preserve these people was to recognise them as subjects of international law, to recognise their independence.”
As South Ossetia and Abkhazia celebrate their new-found status in Russia’s eyes, the US pulled back from a direct confrontation with Moscow. A Coast Guard ship bringing humanitarian aid backed down from docking at Russian-patrolled Poti, arriving at Batumi instead.
Welcoming American help, Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili slammed the Russians.
“Russians are bluffing and they are overplaying their hand,” he said. “They can have enough, more than enough, soldiers on the ground to confront (the) small Georgian army, of course. We can never match 3,000 tanks in our territory, no way, but you know, trying to bully the West, the Americans, this is just, you know, beyond their resources. The point here is, I think, the American assistance will go as scheduled.”
The Kremlin has accused Washington of delivering weapons to Georgia by sea, under the cover of aid -a charge dismissed by the White House as “ridiculous.”