President Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
Today I would like to discuss a number of domestic and international issues with you. Of the domestic issues on the agenda I would specifically note interethnic relations, and as far as the international issues go, we will of course talk today about the situation with our relations with Georgia.
Russia is consistently fulfilling all its commitments under the terms of the agreements between our countries on the withdrawal of Russian military units from Georgian territory, but despite this fact, as we know, our military servicemen in Georgia have been seized and thrown in prison in what looks like a sign of continuation of the policies of Lavrenty Pavlovich Beria, both inside the country and on the international stage. Well, such, it seems, is their position.
They are clearly trying to pinch Russia where it hurts most, to provoke us. I think this is evident. From all appearances, those who are doing this seem to think that an anti-Russian foreign policy will serve the interests of the Georgian people. I do not think this is the case. These people think that they can feel at ease, safe and secure under the protection of their foreign sponsors, but is this really so?
I would like to hear the views of the representatives of the civil ministries and the military specialists.
There are, it seems, forces out there who simply specialise in creating ever new crisis situations, imagining that this will divert attention from old problems. This tactic can probably have an effect in the short term, but what is certain is that it will be of absolutely no help in resolving old and quite serious crises in the world.