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'Saakashvili readying for new war with Russia'

Published time: April 09, 2012 09:23
Edited time: April 09, 2012 13:55
Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili holds a news conference at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels April 3, 2012 (Reuters/Francois Lenoir)

Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili holds a news conference at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels April 3, 2012 (Reuters/Francois Lenoir)

President Mikhail Saakashvili is getting ready for a war with Russia, says Georgi Gugava, political secretary of the Georgian opposition Labor Party.

“The gang that is holding power is ready to continue the [August] 2008 provocation, as a result of which we lost territories and hundreds of people were killed,” Gugava told a Georgian newspaper, cites Vzglyad daily.

The opposition politician noted that there has been an increase of “military rhetoric” and “advertising of reserve and new military hardware” on Georgian state-controlled TV channels.

“Saakashvili is preparing for a war!” Gugava believes. He says the president is planning to “launch a provocation” in order to “involve the Russian Army” in a conflict.

Then Saakashvili would flee the former Soviet republic with “stolen billions” and in a status of “ousted president.” Being “an exile” would make the Georgian leader look like a victim rather than a criminal, the Labor Party secretary thinks.

In August 2008, Georgia launched a military offensive against Russian peacekeepers and civilians in Tskhinval, the capital of South Ossetia. Following the Five-Day War, Russia recognized the independence of Ossetia and another former Georgian territory, the republic of Abkhazia.

Since the conflict, Moscow as well as the two Caucasian republics, have repeatedly warned the West against re-arming Georgia.

According to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the Saakashvili regime began to build up military might well before the 2008 war and has continued doing so since the end of hostilities.

Back in February Medvedev said that he had information that the US and other countries, including Russia's neighbors, supplied Georgia with weapons almost immediately after the conflict. For this reason, Russia had to reinforce its bases in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, he said.

On Monday, Russian Chief Sanitary Inspector Gennady Onishchenko voiced concern over the deployment of American military laboratories in former Soviet medical institutions in Georgia.

American epidemiologists are working at the former “anti-plague station, which used to monitor very dangerous infections,” Onishchenko stated. A former chief of the Georgian security services is in charge of the lab, he told a media conference, reports Interfax.