Russia rejects US criticism over Georgian "invasion"

Georgia Materials 13 August 2008 14:22 (UTC +04:00)

Rejecting US criticism, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov insisted Wednesday that Russia's attacks in Georgia had been a "peace mission," the Russian news agency Interfax reported.

Even French President Nicolas Sarkozy, representing the EU as the current holder of the bloc's presidency, had said this, Lavrov said, dpa reported.

Lavrov also commented in an article in Wednesday's Financial Times that Russia had no intention of toppling the government of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Any such claims were "palpable nonsense," he said, adding that Russia's actions had been "targeted, proportionate and legitimate", he said.

The US government had previously said that Russia had lost its credibility as a stabilizing factor in the region by "invading" the independent state of Georgia.

Moscow appeared determined to oust the democratically elected government in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, US President George W Bush said Monday.