According to him, Georgia should be regretting that move now. "At the time, [then Georgian President] Mikhail Saakashvili went to the limit and lost everything, as it usually happens to reckless and irresponsible leaders," the senior Russian diplomat pointed out. "Choosing to launch a brutal aggression against South Ossetia, he eventually had to face a new situation as we recognized two new independent states on August 26, 2008, - the Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia. We have been boosting relations with them and will continue to do that," Karasin added.
"I do hope that Tbilisi and other capitals not only in the Caucasus region but also in other parts of the world will draw conclusions about the consequences of aggressive steps," he went on to say. "Since 2008, it has proved to be an important international event, which showed that any act of aggression will inevitably entail punishment and aggressors will always fail to get the desired result but will have to face quite the opposite," the Russian deputy foreign minister said.
"We are glad that more countries have been recognizing these two states and they themselves have been working to organize their life better," he noted.
Karasin also praised the Geneva discussions on security and stability in the South Caucasus, involving Russia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Georgia and the United States. "Regular direct contacts with Georgian representatives help the parties resolve problems without delays, talking frankly and even emotionally to each other, as well as exchange views on the most pressing issues," the senior Russian diplomat said. "We stand for continuing the Geneva discussions on the South Caucasus to make sure that the mechanism for responding and preventing incidents, developed during these consultations, continues to operate on a regular basis. Then it will be possible to ensure security in this region so that people can ponder their future in peace," Karasin concluded.
South Ossetia’s chronicle of independence
During the final years of the Soviet era, South Ossetia began its struggle for independence from Georgia, which had proclaimed its path to secession from the Soviet Union. On November 10, 1989, the Council of People’s Deputies of the South Ossetian Autonomous Region transformed the region into an autonomous republic within the Georgian SSR, which unleashed a four-month blockade of South Ossetia’s capital of Tskhinval by Georgian nationalists. On September 20, 1990, the parliament of South Ossetia proclaimed the establishment of the republic and in January 1991, Georgian troops were deployed to South Ossetia. According to various estimates, some 2,000 to 4,000 people were killed in the armed conflict that raged from November 1990 to July 1992.
Under the Dagomys agreement concluded in 1992, Russian peacekeepers entered South Ossetia to settle the conflict. Along with the Russian forces, the peacekeeping mission also included a Georgian battalion and a North Ossetian one.
The peacekeepers performed their mission until August 2008. Overnight to August 8, 2008, Georgia attacked South Ossetia, prompting Moscow to defend civilians, many of whom held Russian citizenship, along with Russian peacekeepers.
As a result of the five-day war, the Georgian troops were driven out of South Ossetia. The war claimed more than 1,000 lives, including those of 72 Russian servicemen. On August 26, 2008, Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia. A Russian military base was established in the Republic in 2009.