Russia did not aim to damage the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, Matthew Bryza, the US Assistant Deputy Secretary of State, said, Интерфакс reported. "If Russia wanted to destroy the oil pipeline, she would do it," he stated in an interview for Ekho Moskvi radio on 23 August.
During the interview, he admitted that suspension of the Russian electronic media broadcasting in the Georgian territory did not correspond to basic principles of democracy. Bryza said that he did not know what objectives Mikheil Saakashvili pursued cutting off channels and access to Internet.
On the other hand, the US diplomat considered the Russian troops' presence in Georgia as illegal and he did not specified that he meant either 'core' Georgia or territory of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. "The Russian troops violate all rules of the international agreement through developments in Georgia, including destruction of military and civil infrastructure. In this respect, presence of the Russian troops in the Georgian territory is currently illegal," the assistant deputy secretary of state said.
According to Bryza, the Russian peacekeepers cannot be located in the Georgian-South Ossetia conflict zone under previous status. "How can we call them peacekeepers, if they are participants of this conflict? That is the question, he said. "I do not know who should take the place of the Russian peacekeepers, whilst I think they cannot stay in the region under this status."
Bryza urged not to call developments in South Ossetia as genocide. "We should ask Human Rights Watch about the source of such data and reasons of using a term 'ethnic cleansing'. It is necessary to approach responsibly such statements," he said.
In latest developments Bryza saw a stimulus to admit quickly Georgia to NATO, as well. "Georgia will strengthen its attempts to join NATO. Now Russia just showed why Georgia needs it," he said, stressing that the United States would assist Georgia and Ukraine in its joining the alliance.
On the other hand, Bryza believes that the World Trade Organization will delay the process of Russia's admittance in response to actions in the Georgian and South Ossetia conflict zone.