Georgia confirms it used cluster ammunition against military targets
Yesterday I wrote that Russia had used cluster ammunition against civilian targets. Yesterday Georgia announced it also used cluster ammunition though only military targets.
The Defense Ministery of Georgia confirmed today the use of cluster ammunition in the war against Russia, though enfasizing that it used them only against Russian military convoys and not against civilian population. “The system (of multiple lanzadera) GRADLAR was used against the Russian military convoys which were going through Roki’s tunnel and Zarski’s highway”, which goes from the separatist republic of South Osetia to the Russian republic of North Ossetia, according to the press release by the Georgian Ministery.
It also points out that “those weapons were never used against civilians, civilians’ targets or inhabited places or its surroundings durinng the conflict with Russia, in South Osetia or in other places“. It also denies the use of GRADLAR in Shindisi, where some reports have blamed Georgian army of its use.
Eurotopics has a summary of newspapers about the EU answer to the conflict.
Angela Merkel has said that The E.U. shouldn’t cut ties with Moscow but must “speak clearly” following Russia’s military action in Georgia.
But there is more: Russia president has dismissed Saakashvili as a “political corpse” and has shown the real excuse for this conflict:
Asked whether the conflict was headed to a cold-war-type standoff, he cast Russia as the aggrieved party and referred pointedly to the Bush administration’s plan to place a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.
“I would like our respected partners to pay attention to the fact that we are not the ones broadening the borders of military presence, it’s NATO,” he said. “We are not the ones creating new bases, it’s NATO. We are not deploying the missile defense system, it’s NATO.”
“We were in constant dialogue” about the planned missile defense system, he said. “We asked why we needed it. But since the decision has been made, if the radar is going to be turned on, we have to respond to this. Because we got no reasonable explanation of why it was done.”
So in the end, it is about being fearful of losing its own influence area, once the defense missile system is put into effect.