THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Russian-Georgian conflict calls for thorough accounting

November 24, 2008
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YOUR EDITORIAL on the war between Russia and Georgia appropriately acknowledges the importance of understanding how this bloody conflict began ("Reckless Georgia," Nov. 11). However, your conclusion that Georgia instigated hostilities ignores well-documented Russian and separatist militia presence and attacks in the days and weeks leading up to Aug. 7, downplays years of history, and criticizes the Georgia president for "allowing himself to be provoked." It fails to consider the process that culminated in Russia's invasion into sovereign Georgian territory. Such a conclusion should only come from an unbiased, international investigation into the genesis of the war, not from anecdotal reports that downplay extensive contradictory evidence from multiple sources.

This comprehensive account is precisely what Georgia has advocated since August, and we are pleased that the European Union is preparing an investigation to assemble this story. Georgia intends to provide every shred of evidence so that a complete, accurate history of the war can be written. We hope Russia will be fully open in this inquiry.

George Bokeria
Deputy foreign minister of Georgia
Tbilisi

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