Medvedev defends Russian actions in Georgia

Georgia Materials 15 August 2008 18:07 (UTC +04:00)

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev insisted Russia's military action in Georgia was necessary to protect the safety of its citizens, after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Black Sea resort of Sochi Friday, reported dpa.

"It was appropriate and necessary to protect the security of our citizens," Medvedev told a joint press conference after the meeting.

He described Russia as "the guarantor of security in the Caucasus and the region" and said Russian troops would remain in Georgia.

Medvedev said the main issue was to "restore peace and to ensure that nobody again has such idiotic ideas," in a clear attack on Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

"We have the impression that Saakashvili objected to the diplomacy of the past 15 years," the Russian president said.

Merkel stressed the need to implement a six-point plan put forward by President Nicolas Sarkozy earlier this week under France's presidency of the European Union.

Russian troops should withdraw from central Georgia, where they have taken up positions around the city of Gori, she said, although she acknowledged some Russian actions were reasonable.

She stressed the need for both peacekeepers and observers to be stationed in the crisis region.