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‘Russia, West Pushed Us into War’ – State Minister
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 25 Aug.'08 / 14:07

Iakobashvili said in the newspaper interview:
• Special commission should investigate misdeeds;
• I offered to block Russian TVs in Georgia;

Temur Iakobashvili, the Georgian state minister for reintegration, said in an interview with the Georgian daily newspaper, Rezonansi, published on August 25, that it was not only Russia, but the west as well which “pushed” Georgia in to war – similar line is also adhered by President Saakashvili recently.

“I want to tell you frankly, that when I held a press conference in Brussels [on May 8] and said that we were very close to war, Europeans approached me and told me: It is unacceptable to mention the word ‘War’ here in this city,” Iakobashvili was quoted by the newspaper.

“So I am saying it today: we have been pushed into war not only by Russians, but by the west as well.”

He said that by saying no to granting membership action plan (MAP) to Georgia, NATO “gave a green light to Russia.”

Iakobashvili also said that he believed a special commission should be set up “to investigate lots of things, including the one involving the reserve troops.”

“I think the Defense Ministry will carry out internal investigation on the matter,” he added.

Numerous stories have been circulating in early days of the conflict based on accounts of reservists themselves and eyewitnesses saying that mobilization and sending of reserve troops to Gori and other areas close to the frontline was totally uncoordinated and chaotic.

Iakobashvili also said in the newspaper interview that he was the one who initiated to take Russian news TV channels off the air. All the Russian television stations carrying news went off air in Georgia on August 8 after the governmental ordered the local cable networks to do so. Some Georgian TV journalists say privately that the government has further boosted its grip on and censorship of the Georgian nationwide television stations as soon as the conflict erupted.

The Georgian government has also blocked websites in the .ru domain; the move triggered interment users in Georgia to switch on proxy servers, through which it is possible to access the Russian websites.

“The move was just part of media war and we had to do that,” Iakobashvili said. “They attacked our websites, bribed journalists in the international media sources… So we had to do that [block the Russia TVs] to avoid seeding panic among [the Georgian population],” Iakobashvili said.

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