President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Dear colleagues!
A tragedy has claimed the lives of many people from the civilian population of South Ossetia and the Russian peacekeeping forces. I would like, dear colleagues, for you to first and foremost express our sincere condolences to all those who suffered and who have been affected by this barbaric aggression.
You defended your land and justice was on your side. That is why you won, with the assistance of Russian peacekeepers, a reinforced peacekeeping contingent. I think that this is an appropriate outcome. Today, we need to restore peace and not to let your grief result in hostility, and at the same time to construct a solid barrier to prevent possible future aggression.
You know that recently the President of France and I agreed on certain principles governing a settlement.
They have been declared and later publicly endorsed by Georgia, though with certain adjustments to paragraph six concerning the beginning of an international debate on ensuring the lasting security of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. But the principles themselves, important as they are, are not everything. We need to prepare a completely final, binding treaty abjuring the use of force, which must be signed by the parties to the conflict and guaranteed by Russia, the EU, the OSCE, and perhaps some other actors.
Nevertheless, these principles are a foundation that we can work on. I hope that we will discuss this issue. And as President of the Russian Federation I also expect a constructive approach from our other partners, those who have been busy supplying weapons to Georgia. But to give weapons does not mean to restore peace. We must help peace and not war.
And finally, what I wanted to say, last but not least. You know about the sixth principle — I just mentioned this — the issue of status. I would like you to know and to convey to the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia that the position of the Russian Federation will not change: we will support any decision taken by the peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in accordance with the United Nations Charter, international conventions of 1966, and the Helsinki Act on security and cooperation in Europe. And we will not only support these decisions but will guarantee them in the Caucasus and in the world.
President of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity: Dear Dmitry Anatolyevich!
On behalf of the people of the Republic of South Ossetia I would like to express our deep gratitude to you and to Russia for its timely action to prevent the total destruction of the Ossetian people in South Ossetia. Russia’s actions were timely and very necessary.
We have long warned many of our colleagues about the aggression being prepared against South Ossetia and Abkhazia, but we were not met with understanding in the OSCE nor the European Union. And just what happened to our people — to the people of South Ossetia — shows that Georgia did not act alone. And today many European countries and, primarily, the United States, are also responsible for the genocide of the small Ossetian people. Even the code name for the operation which took place in South Ossetia — Free Ground — speaks for itself.
And despite all that our people endured, we support the efforts of the Russian Federation, we understand our responsibility to all the peoples of the Caucasus, and we are ready to sign this document in order to once again show the world that neither South Ossetia nor Abkhazia, nor the peoples of the Caucasus want war.
President of Abkhazia Sergei Bagapsh: Dmitry Anatolyevich!
I would like to join Eduard Dzhabeevich, my friend and brother, and say a huge thank you to you, to the leadership of the Russian Federation, for first and foremost ensuring that Russia has become what it is today.
As for us, we have chosen our path in life and will continue along it forever. And what the Russian Federation has done represents a gesture which our peoples, and not only ours, will appreciate. The nobility of the state and determination of its leaders has, of course, been demonstrated at the very highest level. It saved our peoples in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
We know the work you did while meeting with the President of France. We know about these principles and the changes that were introduced. And, of course, subject to safeguards from the Russian Federation and all that you said, we will sign the document and support all the initiatives that the Russian Federation makes.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you. Then perhaps we should do this right now so that all parties know about it.