President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: This is a special day for me because I will never forget what happened on August 8, 2008 when the events in South Ossetia unfolded, and what tension there was here in Abkhazia at that moment. If Russia had taken a different course of action everything would have taken a different turn, here in your republic, and in South Ossetia.
We did the right thing, the decent thing then. We saved lives and did not allow a bloodbath to take place here. We realised that what was happening in South Ossetia would have started here too, that was clear. It was part of certain politicians’ plans, they would have created the same bloodbath here that they did in Tskhinval. Therefore, everyone who defended your two young countries then deserve our highest regards, as do those who sacrificed their lives for their homeland, those whose names are immortalised in this monument, your children included.
I wish Abkhazia prosperity and I wish good health to you and your families.
I spoke today with [President of Abkhazia] Sergei Bagapsh about how to further develop the relations between our countries. Everything will be fine, everyone understands this, and the decisions that have been taken are now accepted by everyone, and even those who oppose them know that there is no going back.
I wish you health and happiness, and I thank you for being here today.