Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday accused Washington and the Georgian third President Mikheil Saakashvili of “staging the provocation” in 2008, in reference to Moscow’s invasion of Georgia leading to the occupation of 20 percent of the Georgian territory.
Speaking at the Skopje OSCE Ministerial, Lavrov claimed the NATO countries, which were also OSCE members, pledged the accession of Georgia and Ukraine to NATO during the 2008 Bucharest Summit.
He stressed their goal “was simple, to turn their mood against Russia. Saakashvili, who came to power through the Rose Revolution backed by the West, immediately fulfilled the carte blanche given in Bucharest and in the same August 2008, ordered the bombing of South Ossetian cities [Georgia’s Russian-occupied Tskhinvali region] and an attack on peacekeepers in South Ossetia with the consent of the OSCE”.
Lavrov claimed the “provocation” had been prepared by the United States, which he said had launched a military training programme in Georgia ahead of the conflict.
Expressing concern over the state of the OSCE, Lavrov declared, "the organization is on the brink of a precipice." He questioned the feasibility of revitalizing the OSCE, asserting that it was becoming an extension of NATO and the European Union.
The Russian official left the hall immediately after delivering his speech, choosing not to listen to other representatives.