The international community must respond and “preventive diplomacy” should come into play to avoid a reoccurrence of the August 6 missile incident, Irakli Alasania, Georgia’s UN ambassador, said at a news conference in New York on August 22.
He said with the August 6 attack on Georgia, Russia aimed at multiple goals: “to intimidate Georgia, to assess Georgia’s military readiness and to test the international community on how far it would go to defend Georgia’s new democracy.”
“Russia also wanted to show who is dominant in the region,” he added.
Speaking at the news conference, Alasania laid out the findings of two separate groups of western experts who have studied evidence of the missile incident. Both groups have confirmed that at least one aircraft came from the Russian Federation, fired a missile deep into Georgian territory and flew back to the Russian Federation.
Alasania said Russia wanted “to suppress the truth” and was blocking debates on the matter at the UN Security Council in order “to cover-up its involvement.”
He said that Georgia had “acted in a restrained and responsible manner.” Russia, however, he said, maintained its non-cooperative stance and did not provide crucial information that could have shed light on the incident.
Alasania dismissed Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin’s August 21 statement, which reiterated the Russian position that Georgia itself had staged the incident to discredit Moscow.
“It is so absurd that I do not want to waste my time and your time on commenting on this,” the Georgian diplomat told reporters.