Pres. Saakashvili & Sec. Rice Press Conference. | NBC New York

Pres. Saakashvili & Sec. Rice Press Conference.



    Tbilisi, Georgia PRESIDENT SAAKASHVILI: Madame Secretary, we had almost five-hour discussion about mechanics to stop ongoing violence and deterring Russian invasion, as well as about massive assistance programs for Georgia from the United States in order to start immediate rebuild, immediate assistance, and immediate normalization of life in my badly damaged country. As we speak now, significant part of territories of Georgia remain under foreign military occupation. You might have heard reports that some Russian APCs were dislocated to move closer to the capital and on - halfway between Gori and Tbilisi.

    While I still - before focusing on today's ceasefire agreement, I still would like to draw your attention to the events that preceded the whole invasion and occupation.

    While - when in April, in Bucharest, Georgia was denied Membership Action Plan by some members of NATO, I warned Western media at that stage that it was asking for trouble. Not only they denied us Membership Action Plan, but they specifically told the world that they are denying Georgia Membership Action Plan because of existing territorial conflicts in Georgia, basically inviting the trouble.

    And I told the world, this is the worst thing one could say to the Russians, that there will be no NATO until there is conflicts, and more there are of conflicts, less there will be of the NATO. And immediately after April, immediately after Bucharest - and I can tell you now that Russians perceived Bucharest, and I mentioned it and then some of the Western commentators made fun of me, saying that, oh, it - this hot-headed Saakashvili says this rubbish again.

    I told them Russia perceives this as new Munich. Bucharest was perceived by them as new Munich. And what happened was that immediately they started buildup of the infrastructure in Abkhazia. Immediately, they started to bring in railway troops to bring - to build railway in depopulated, ethnically cleansed areas of Abkhazia, cynically claiming that they are doing this for humanitarian purposes.

    And I shouted to the world, this is for - to bring in tanks. They built tank bases all over Abkhazia and in South Ossetia, in place of Java, without bringing in tanks yet. We told the world, this is about starting an invasion.

    They started to bring in lots of military specialists, reconnaissance. They brought in paratroopers. Again, we screamed to the world, stop it. And there were some statements from Washington, but I have to tell you that for most of the European countries, with noticeably some remarkable exceptions, there was pretty muted and quiet reaction to all this. And the Russians were carefully watching this reaction. They were doing step by step - first some infrastructure, then some additional troops, then (inaudible) acts, then again infrastructure, again some intrusion - and wait, watching carefully what Europeans have to say, watching carefully what would be the counter-reaction of the international community. And it really did not follow.

    And, Madame Secretary, as we were standing here last time a few weeks ago, there was intrusion of the Georgian - of Russian planes into Georgian airspace, just exactly in the lines of South Ossetia. And you remember as well as I do that then we downplayed it. I downplayed it myself. I said, well, they are here just to salute Secretary Rice. And normally, in the past, Russians would deny that. But that time they said, yes, this is us, we flew there, implying that there was intent to bomb against Georgians. And again, they watched the European reactions. No European country said anything about it.

    So who invited the trouble here? Who invited this arrogance here? Who invited these innocent deaths here? Who is - not only those people who perpetrate them are responsible, but also those people who failed to stop it. And who is trying now to look for every excuse, saying, oh, you know, Georgians might have started it. Excuse me? Twelve-hundred tanks came into Georgia within few hours. There is no way you can mobilize those tanks in such a fast period unless you were ready. There were Russian pensioners taken off the streets of Moscow to fly the planes several days before the invasion. There was no way they were not preparing invasion. Why would they call back the pensioners? There were all these movements on the ground all around the place.

    You know when it all started? I want the world to know. I was gone for holidays. My Defense Minister was gone for holidays. When the thing started, I had to rush back, cut my holiday short when the tensions started to raise. I had to summon back my - our Defense Minister. But most of our officials were gone. Most of decision-makers I tried to reach were gone for vacations. It was brilliantly selected timing for this intervention.

    And, unfortunately, today we are looking evil directly in the eye. And today this evil is very strong, very nasty, and very dangerous - for everybody, not only for us.

    That is what we learned. But together, this can be and will be only the first chapter. Let us try the next chapter together and write this historic new chapter of the world for the world. We will rebuild. We want them out. I want the world to know, never, ever will Georgia reconcile with occupation of even one square kilometer of its sovereign territory. Never, ever.

    There is a strong force led by former KGB warriors. Those tanks that were taken out of Afghanistan, of Eastern Europe, now are rolling back again into other countries. Georgia was the first one to take their heat, but they are on the roll. They are euphoric. They are arrogant. They will not stop. But I can tell you never, ever - my small nation of Georgia that has already gone for 70 years of subjugation by these barbarians, of 20th century then and 21st century now.

    In exactly these similar circumstances, in 1921, Russia claimed Georgia attacked one of its minorities, entered Georgia from the east, and occupied Georgia for 70 years. And we were in 70 years of communist, much slavery and humiliation.

    I grew up with the idea that this should never happen again. I wept when Berlin Wall came down. I thought that people like KG - former KGB people were gone for good. Well, on that one, I was wrong. But on one, I was never wrong and I will never be wrong and I will be very strong on that one, together with my people. You saw a huge rally in downtown Tbilisi two days ago. Never, ever Georgia will succumb to their pressures. Never, ever we will surrender. Never, ever we will give our freedom and independence. Never, ever we will give any piece of our territory. And freedom will go to every part of Georgia, to every ethnic group, to every community in Georgia. And we'll definitely get rid of these invaders for good. I'm totally convinced on that one.

    Troops must leave today. Today, I signed the ceasefire agreement. I have to specify this is a ceasefire agreement; this is not a final settlement. This - we are under Russian invasion and Russian occupation right now, and we want to end Russian invasion and occupation. This is a ceasefire agreement between us and Russia facilitated by France and the United States. We will - and we certainly should move from this temporary arrangement to genuine international force -peacekeeping force on the ground to replace the occupiers and people who are up to trouble. Wherever are these people, there is trouble.

    I have to specify. Today, there is new report by Human Rights Watch saying that Russia used cluster bombs against civilians, killing lots of local civilians as well as that journalist. This is an inhuman weapon.

    Two days ago, they used weapon of mass destruction, missile SS-21. This is upgraded version of SS-20 that were withdrawn from Europe under Reagan-Gorbachev agreement. They are now using them again against the neighboring countries. They've used it against pipelines and residential areas in Georgia.

    They - there is continuous instances of massive lootings and ethnic cleansing, and there is continuous Russian war propaganda machine rolling, today, already. And I accuse those people who write these articles in some newspapers, some of them may - might be genuine, but there are lots of people on Russian (inaudible) payroll willing to say just anything and justify just anything Russia is doing.

    There were such people before Second World War. There were people who would justify anything Stalin did in terms of Gulag. There were people willing to justify anything Hitler would do in Europe. There are still such people. But I think predominantly, the international opinion is absolutely clear. It's consolidated and has no scruples, has no hesitations about what's really going on. It's an unprovoked, brutal invasion and attack to kill Georgian democracy and to end independence of Georgia. And we together will deter it.

    And I think the last thing I want to say, Madame Secretary, we have a good agreement on rebuilding Georgia infrastructure, economy. We have got lots of solidarity from all around the world. We will increase Western economic and other presence here, infrastructure projects. I want my country to shine and go back on its feet as never before.

    I want to know every - I know that there are other things, but I want you to know, this is not some shattered country, failed state. It was failed state few years ago, and Russia was perfectly comfortable with us until we were failed.

    This is the country that has the lowest corruption rate in the region according to the World Bank. This is the country which has the highest per capita FDI rate in the region. This is the country - this is the highest growth rate country among all known - all economies in the world. This is the country where - which moved from 140-something place in terms of business environment where we were in par with Nigeria and our neighbor, Russia, to being number 17 ahead of the U.K., Germany, Netherlands, and some other leading world economies. That's what we will achieve, that this is the country that - where - which had been bombed with cluster bombs, which has been robbed, looted. And still the police function. The lights were on. Doctors were in place. Supply lines never stopped. And people never got desperate and never ran away and never succumbed to this pressure. That's what we managed to build.

    Russia has lots of tanks, but Russia, no tank is enough to crush the will of the free people. Because freedom's light will never die here, because 1921 will never repeat itself here. Peace will never die and nor will liberty, democracy, and independence of Georgia.

    Thank you, Madame Secretary.

    SECRETARY RICE: Thank you, Mr. President.

    Mr. President, as President Bush noted in his statement a couple of days ago, he has sent me here to show the solidarity of the United States with Georgia and its people in this moment of crisis.

    We support Georgia's sovereignty. We support its independence. We support its territorial integrity. We support its democracy and its democratically elected government. That is America's position. And in my discussions with my European colleagues, it is the position of the Europeans as well.

    The Russian attack on Georgia had profound implications and will have profound implications for Russia's relations with its neighbors and with the world. But our most urgent task today is the immediate and orderly withdrawal of Russian armed forces and the return of those forces to Russia.

    France has brokered a six-part ceasefire accord that will achieve that result if it is indeed honored. President Saakashvili, as he has said, has signed this document after I have been able to offer some clarifications from President Sarkozy about the meaning of certain terms. The President has signed it. And now, with the signature of the Georgian President on this ceasefire accord, all Russian troops and any irregular and paramilitary forces that entered with them must leave immediately.

    This is the understanding that I had with President Sarkozy yesterday, which is that when President Saakashvili signed this ceasefire accord, there would be an immediate withdrawal of Russian forces from Georgian territory. With the signature of this ceasefire accord by Georgia, this must take place and take place now.

    Now, in order to stabilize the situation in Georgia, we need international observers on the scene fast. And eventually, we need a more robust and impartial peacekeeping international force that would follow those monitors. Finnish Foreign Minister Stubb, who is the Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE, has told us that the monitors could come to Georgia in a matter of days. I count on Russian cooperation in getting those monitors in.

    The United States and others are already providing humanitarian assistance to the Georgian people. Access must be immediate and unimpeded for those humanitarian efforts. When the security situation in Georgia is stabilized, we will turn immediately to reconstruction. And people who are displaced from their homes must be allowed to return and to live in security.

    I want to reiterate again what the President said. He directed Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to begin a humanitarian mission to the people of Georgia, headed by the United States military. That mission will be vigorous and ongoing. And I believe, Mr. President, that that mission is now well underway.

    We have started work with the Georgian Government and have engaged the G-7, the IMF, and other international financial institutions to rapidly develop an economic support package for the Georgian economy to build on its demonstrated track record and to resume its rapid growth. We anticipate that this package will include various multilateral and bilateral mechanisms. The package should restore Georgia's economy and reinforce investor confidence as Georgia returns to its position as a leading economy in the region.

    Georgia has been attacked. Russian forces need to leave Georgia at once. The world needs to help Georgia maintain its sovereignty, its territorial integrity, and its independence.

    This is no longer 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia, when a great power invaded a small neighbor and overthrew its government. The free world will now have to wrestle with the profound implications of this Russian attack on its neighbor for security in the region and beyond.

    Thank you very much, Mr. President.

    PRESIDENT SAAKASHVILI: Thank you, Madame Secretary.

    SECRETARY RICE: I think we're taking two questions a side.


    QUESTION: Dr. Rice, (inaudible) with Georgian TV. I will ask question in Georgian.

    (In Georgian.)

    (Via interpreter) (Inaudible) international peacekeepers cannot come to Georgia because the parties do not want to see them.

    SECRETARY RICE: Well, first things first. This agreement is a ceasefire agreement. It doesn't prejudice future arrangements. It is a ceasefire agreement. It does include a return to the status quo ante for military forces. Georgian forces will deploy back and Russian forces except for the forces that were there prior to - peacekeeping forces that were there prior to August 6th will also leave. Russian forces are to leave Georgian territory outside the zone of conflict.

    Now, the President has received some clarifications on what was in the document known as Point Five, which is what temporary measures can be in place until there are international monitors in place. And I have been talking, or we have been talking with Foreign Minister - Finnish Foreign Minister Stubb about getting those monitors in place very quickly.

    There will have to be an international discussion, which is also prefigured, expected in this agreement, about future arrangements for the zones of conflict. I might note that there have been international discussions for more than a decade now. Hopefully, they will come to some fruition. And at that point, we will have to have measures that can assure stability and security in the zones of conflict.

    And it is the position of the United States that that will have to - that will require international peacekeeping forces that are neutral in the conflict. But that will have to be a part of further discussions.

    I want to emphasize what the President said. This is a ceasefire agreement. This is not about the future of these conflict regions. This is a ceasefire agreement.

    PRESIDENT SAAKASHVILI: Well, I have to underline it to make it very clear on that one that Georgia's - there is only one sovereignty in Georgia, there is only one sovereignty in Abkhazia, there is only one sovereignty in Tskhinvali region, and this is sovereignty of the Government of Georgia, of the people of Georgia, multiethnic people of Georgia. There is no other actor in the region that can say we will not accept international - which we will accept. Only the Government of Georgia has legitimate right to tolerate or not to tolerate the presence of any other foreign force in its territory.

    We are willing - we - I agreed to ceasefire. We need to end this thing and we need to end killing and we need to end this (inaudible) here. However, we will only agree to durable solutions if it includes really impartial force that will be there to peace rebuilding, peace reconstruction, and not just, you know, pretend that they are there to do peacekeeping and instead basically keep away - the territories away from the rest of the country.

    We need genuine reconciliation. We need long-term process. We need negotiations. Generous autonomy arrangements have always been out there, but Russia has always precluded even discussing them, even getting close to the negotiating format, because it was all - first of all, it was never only about those territories. It was all about taking over the rest of the country and it was always leverage. And second, when even it came to those territories, no negotiated settlement and solution was welcome.

    But you know, there is no compromise on territories, like there is no 1939 when Finland had to give up Karelia to appease Stalin, or Czechoslovakia had to give up Sudetenland, or other countries have to give up - had to give up piece of their territory under Molotov-Ribbentrop and the other different pacts, or in Yaltas, et cetera.

    There is no way today anybody can impose such solutions on international community. Certainly, the United States is not going for it. No European nation will ever go for it. The Security Council of the UN, I hope, never will even compromise, get close to compromising on it.

    And that's why we need - of course, we need negotiating solutions. But there can be no negotiating capitulations and negotiated dismemberments of smaller countries by bigger ones. I think that's gone. And you know, anything else will be judged international criminal activity, and I hope the world reacts to international criminal activity in proper way, better than before this whole thing happened.

    QUESTION: Secretary of State -

    SECRETARY RICE: I think we were going to take - Sean, are we going to take a - Reuters?

    Yes, please.

    QUESTION: President Saakashvili, are you satisfied that this agreement fully protects Georgian interests, and are you happy with the level of support you've had from Western allies during this crisis?

    And also, Secretary Rice, we realize that you've been focused on a ceasefire agreement and humanitarian issues, but looking forward, what will the U.S. do to ensure - or to reassure - European allies that this sort of action by Russia will not be tolerated in the future?

    PRESIDENT SAAKASHVILI: Well, I mean, first of all, going to this question, I'm - I think I'm not satisfied with one fact, that all of this could have been prevented. We were screaming, shouting to the world that Russia was going to do this. I told to number of European leaders Russia was going to do this. And they usually told me that I was overplaying the threat, overestimating it, that Russians were not capable of doing such things. Well, Russians apparently are capable of doing things much worse than even I had imagined.

    And the point here, look at, go and ask, talk to the villagers, to people who - on whom they threw cluster bombs, whom they mocked, whom they - you know, whose family members they've killed, what they are capable of doing. These are 21st century barbarians. Of course, you are a civilized nation, you don't believe it now, but civilization is all about opening your eyes as well and seeing it, what's really happening.

    And I think that could have been avoided. Russia has been all the time very carefully testing reaction of the West, step by step establishing new lines, making reinforcements (inaudible), then again new lines, then again new lines. And finally, we got where we got when there were no lines left and there was only this brutal aggression.

    So what I'm saying - I'm worried about now is that unless there is some durable mechanics to deter it again in the future, it's going to replicate itself in Georgia and elsewhere. Now, you are dealing with extremely arrogant and euphoric force that thinks that they are back again and they are - they can do things. And you know what? This is not a done deal yet. We need to do our utmost to deter such behavior in the future, to first of all stop what's happening, to deter it in the future.

    I don't think anybody in Europe would be - or elsewhere around will be safe from this moment on. Nobody will be safe. And that's - I'm not trying to scare anybody. I'm just scared for them myself because we are - we can see what's at stake here. And I think there should be much more durable, strong, institutional response to this, rather than we are having ad hoc response now.

    With regards to this agreement, this is about ceasefire. This is getting of these things off the streets of my towns and of the roads and of my seaports, our seaports, and starting genuine international process.

    Of course, in longer run, there is no way we can reconcile with the fact that in Abkhazia, where population was almost 600,000 people, less than 80,000 are left because of continuous Russian actions over the years. Of course, we will never reconcile with the fact that, you know, for the last few years in upper Abkhazia, to show the contrast, and some of the journalists have seen it, we build schools, hospitals, you know, wonderful kindergartens, roads. This is all gone now. This is all destroyed by barbarians. In South Ossetia, we build amusement park, we build Dolby system film theater, we build concert hall, we build Olympic size pool, we build schools and hospitals. And they went in and burned and destroyed all of this and shattered all of this. You know, everything that is nice and new makes them sick. You are dealing with the people who despise everything human, everything nice, everything modern, everything European, everything civilized. That's what they are after.

    I remember, you know, we've been building these concert halls. We've been bringing the famous rock groups from the West to tell them, you know, this is all about you. Let's open the roadblocks, come over, dance with your compatriots. You know, enjoy life. Why do you have to sit in the trenches? Put aside Kalashnikov. These are all things I've said loudly.

    And you know, that's how they responded. They decided to kill our music sounds with their tanks and artillery and air bombs. They leveled city of Tskhinvali with carpet bombardments and came around and blamed Georgians for that. Read Human Rights Watch report. Who leveled Tskhinvali? How they behaved? How Georgian troops behaved, and how these barbarians are behaving right now as we speak? I want international ratification of what has happened exactly - who did what, how did it happen. Because we know exactly the truth and we know that we are dealing with people who tried their best to mislead the world, to cheat, to lie, to deceive, and to repeat this over and over again and maybe also in other places.

    Sorry for these emotions, but I feel emotional.

    SECRETARY RICE: I think on the issue of looking forward, the United States will be with its allies, of course, in the North Atlantic Council of NATO on Tuesday. I'm certain that there will be a confirmation of NATO's transatlantic vision for Georgia as well as for Ukraine, of NATO's insistence that it will remain open to European democracies that meet its standards. But we will also have to begin a discussion of, as I said, the consequences of what Russia has done.

    President Bush put it best when he said that the Russians have sought integration into political, diplomatic, economic fora, and that this calls into question what role Russia really intends to play in international politics. Because one thing is certain: You can't, on the one hand, participate in and be a responsible member of institutions that are democratic and that underscore democratic values and, on the other hand, act in this way toward one of your neighbors.

    So that's a discussion that's going to be ongoing, but the President and I have spent most of the time this morning - today, making certain that Georgia's interests are protected in this ceasefire agreement, and secondly, in beginning our very important discussion about how the United States and our allies can support Georgia's determination to rebuild and to be stronger than ever.

    QUESTION: (Inaudible) with Georgia's public broadcasting. I will put my question in Georgian, please.

    (Via interpreter.) You have said that agreement for ceasefire was signed and that Russian force must immediately leave territory of Georgia, but secondly (inaudible) agreement (inaudible) for three days, but Russia established itself in Georgia (inaudible) - that Russia will really, immediately leave the territory? And if it doesn't happen, what will be the measures taken from the international community?

    And next question, how is determined international forces? You said that restoration of 6 August status quo, whether (inaudible) Abkhazia withdraw its troops from (inaudible) or not?

    SECRETARY RICE: (Inaudible) the international discussions about the future for these zones of conflict. As I said, we have been trying for more than a decade to find a political solution to these conflicts and we've been unable to do it. We will now have to intensify those efforts. We will also, in that context, need to look at how to assure stability and security in the region. And it is our view that there will need to be a neutral force there to help secure that stability.

    I do want to be very clear that any political arrangements that are made as a part of a durable solution proceed from the point of view of the United States, from the territorial integrity of Georgia, and from the Security Council resolutions that recognize Abkhazia and Ossetia as within the internationally recognized boundaries of Georgia.

    And so that's the point, that's the starting point, and we need to understand that, because that's the context. This isn't a matter of there's some now new political status for Abkhazia and South Ossetia. That is absolutely not the case. The circumstances are those that are in Security Council resolutions of the past.

    As to the ceasefire, one reason that it is important to have it signed -- and it is my understanding that President Medvedev will sign a similar document -- the same document that President Saakashvili has signed if he has not already. It is, by the way, a document that is signed also by the French President as the President of the EU. It is true that, as President Bush said, the verbal assurance that President Medvedev gave that Russian military operations had stopped or were going to stop or were stopping, or whatever the tense was, clearly was not honored.

    And so this is going to be a signed agreement. And I have to assume that the President of Russia, having given not just his word, but his signature to the President of the EU, will honor it.

    Sylvie, yes.

    QUESTION: Madame Secretary, Russia reacted very angrily to the missile defense agreement that the U.S. have signed with - have - has agreed with Poland because it includes the deployment of a Patriot battery in Warsaw. Is U.S. choosing confrontation with Russia?

    And Mr. President, if you had one regret about the military operation in South Ossetia, what would it be?

    SECRETARY RICE: Sylvie, Poland is an independent country and it's an ally of the United States and it's a democratic country to whose security the United States is committed through Article 5 of the NATO treaty.

    Now, we have tried to work with the Russians in all kinds of ways. Bob Gates and I were there twice trying to show the Russians that this missile system, the defense - the missile defense system is aimed at small missile threats of the kind that one could anticipate from Iran, for instance. We have talked about all kinds of measures that could be used to demonstrate to Russia that this system was not, in any way, aimed at their deterrent. They've thus far not been willing to take us up on all of those measures.

    The arrangements, therefore, that the United States makes with its Polish allies to make sure that Poland is capable of defending itself and capable of being an active ally are, frankly, between Poland and the United States.

    I can assure you that the NATO, as it has never been aimed at anybody - it is a defensive alliance - is also not aimed at Russia. Russia should welcome having democracies on its border, not threaten them.

    But the agreement with Poland stands. We've made very clear, I've made very clear that we were going to sign that agreement as soon as Poland and the United States had come to terms, and we've now come to terms.

    PRESIDENT SAAKASHVILI: Well, first of all, I have to make it very clear, this invasion of Russia was not about South Ossetia at all. Because I have to remind you, what about Abkhazia? Did anything happen there? Did we do anything, as Russia claims, when they cleansed the whole upper Abkhazia of the people and invaded it brutally? The - what about other places in Georgia? What about hitting the pipelines with SS-21 missiles? What about, you know, damaging civilian infrastructures all around the country? This was never about South Ossetia. This was brutal invasion of Georgia with sole purpose - and they clearly stated it to Madame Secretary, to President Sarkozy - the overthrow of the Georgian Government and turning Georgia into a failed state and basically implying ending its independence, period.

    And it's not about our operation in South Ossetia. In South Ossetia, we had - we exercised self- defense against hundreds of invading Russian tanks and against Russian-backed, so-called local separatists that were, for the first time, in first place, Russian officials, almost all of them.

    And we had only two choices: (a) to surrender immediately and to let them in; or to try to resist and to inflict damage on them and to deter them. And any responsible democracy has no choice in such situation, unfortunately, as inequal as our forces are. Because the level of invasion in first days into Georgia was higher than that was Afghanistan and today's anniversary of Prague, and then - bigger initiative than that into Czechoslovakia in 1968.

    This is anniversary of Prague. Russians, are historically, it looks like, doing bad things in August when everybody else - everybody - civilized decision-makers go for vacations.

    And you know what? It's always about something. Maybe - I would like - the world should ask the questions. When Russians destroyed Yukos, when Putin destroyed Yukos, nobody said anything. Then they start to say, oh, Russia has nice investment environment, because everybody has his own interest. When Russia went after international - when Russian agents poisoned President of Ukraine - ask Ukrainians, they have all the proof and evidence. Look at the face of President Yushchenko. Did any of big decision-makers do or say anything about that? Not talking about Russian agents that were killed in London and they carried out, basically, nuclear attack on downtown of London. Well, you know, that's almost natural - comes as natural right to Russian leadership, because if they can poison President of Ukraine, what about their own agents? Why not?

    How many different forms of polonium they can send to the world? Now it's cluster bombs killing my children and women here and, by the way, your colleagues, foreign journalists. How many more things can these barbarians do, these cold-blooded killers do for the world not to blame the victims? Can you say that, you know, the victim of rape is to be blamed for the rape because she wore a short skirt? Or the victim of, you know, killing be blamed for the killing because he provoked the killer with, you know, some strange look in his eyes? That's exactly what some of the people were trying to do now toward Georgia for the last several days.

    Excuse me, but that's exactly the guarantee that it will happen over and over and over again. Because the people with you are dealing - with whom you are dealing, they are all about - for them, lying is instrument of communication. Bullying and blackmailing is the best things they enjoy and the only thing they understand. It's unity and strength of international community; nothing else can deter and stop them, because otherwise, they are like - they will stop - keep advancing, they will keep killing, they will keep destroying other countries. That's what they are trying to do to my country right now as we speak.

    SECRETARY RICE: May I just - just one thing, Sylvie, because I - just for members of the press who may not know, patriot batteries are, of course, defensive systems and defensive systems only. And I think that point is very important to underscore.

    Thank you.