Putin states concern on South Ossetia

Putin states concern on South Ossetia

Channel One TV, Moscow
20 Aug 04

[Presenter] The situation in South Ossetia was one of the main
subjects at the final news conference of the Russian and Armenian
presidents. Negotiations are the only way to settle the
Georgia-Ossetia conflict, Vladimir Putin said. The president restated
his view that Tbilisi’s actions in the 1990s, when Abkhazia and South
Ossetia were stripped of their status as autonomies, had been

[Putin] The situation is tense and concerns us. A decision about South
Ossetia was taken, and it is absurd to dispute that. Appropriate
documents exist, and we even have copies of those documents. They
abolish the autonomous status of South Ossetia. These documents were
signed by [Georgia’s late ex-President Zviad] Gamsakhurdia. We can
present these to journalists.

I can tell you that in conversations I have had with Mikhail
Nikolayevich Saakashvili [Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili] he
also said he thought these decisions were wrong.

As for a way out of this situation, there can be only one way out –
one needs to sit down at the negotiation table, which is the first
thing. Second, one needs to know how to come to agreement and, third,
to have the political will to carry out these accords.

If, on the other hand, everything goes on as it has done recently,
with the commission agreeing on something in the morning and in the
evening these accords being disavowed by other representatives of that
state, it is impossible for anyone to get anything done under those
conditions and, of course, there will be no result. We very much hope
that all parties to the process will show political maturity and