Georgian President Signs Three Decrees in Evening of 8 August, Says Georgian State Minister for Reintegration
Georgia, Tbilisi, 27 October / Trend corr. N.Kirtzkhalia / The Georgian President signed three decrees in the evening of 8 August, when the Ossetia side did not react to unilateral ceasefire decision of Tbilisi, which was announced from 06.00PM to 11.00PM, Temur Yakobashvili, the Georgian State Minister for Reintegration, said at a meeting of the Parliamentary commission on study of the August developments.
"I was at the President at that time and these decisions were made in my presence. There were three decrees - to stop column of the Russian tanks, which headed for Tzkhinvali, to press fire points, which shot the Georgian villages, and to avoid loss amongst civil people. I heard all of these decrees by own ears," he stressed.
"Yakobashvili said that these orders were given through special communication.
"Situation in the Georgian-Ossetia conflict zone became hot on 22 July and ambassadors were invited to the conflict zone on 5 August because of suddenly intensified situation and they were warned that the situation was too serious," the State Minister said.
On 4 August, General Marat Kulakhmetov, the Commander of the Mixed Armed Forces for support of peace, recognized that the Georgian villages were shot by the armed forces from Tzkhinvali, which was banned. "I have had such an impression that the Russian Foreign Ministry supervised over situation too little. However, the President asked me and I left for Tzkhinvali to meet with Yuriy Popov, ambassador for special affairs. I was in Tzkhinvali at 03.00PM on 7 August and saw an empty city there. I was at the peacekeepers' staff in Tzkhinvali. Our troops did not have avenue of approach to Tzkzhinvali. The city was fully empty and I felt sorry for not knowing this fact," the State Minister said.
According to Yakobashvili, Kulakhmetov admitted that they did not control the Ossetia side and shot at the Georgians on the sly. "Moreover, we faced wit shooting from hospitals, houses and schools," he said.
The State Minister stressed that he offered to meet with Chochiyev and Kokoyti, whilst they were not in the city as Popov, who as if stuck in Gori, because wheels of his car got down.
According to the State Minister, Kulakhmetov offered to Georgia to cease fire at unilateral order, which can lead to relaxation of the state. "I have talked with the Georgian President and we tried every effort to prevent military confrontation. Head of the state instructed me to inform Kulakhametov that we would announce ceasefire to 11.00PM. "I told Kulakhametov that we took this step for relaxation of the situation. I Have had such an impression that the General was sincerely interested in relaxation of the situation," Yakobashvili said.
According to data of Georgia, the Russian tank columns headed for Tzkhinvali, while we announced unilateral ceasefire, the State Minister stressed.
The correspondent can be contacted at [email protected]