Putin alleges Bush orchestrated Georgia war to get McCain elected as next Prez
Moscow, Aug 29 (ANI): Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said that the Georgia conflict may have been orchestrated by US President George Bush in a bid to get his party's presidential nominee John McCain win this November election.
Though Putin did not specify which candidate he was talking about, but there was no doubt that he was referring to Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential dandidate, reported the New York Times.
According to the paper, the Georgia conflict has become a flash point in the US presidential campaign, with McCain assailing the "revanchist Russia" and asserting that he was far more qualified to handle such a crisis than his rival the Democratic candidate Senator Barack Obama.
In an interview with the CNN, Putin suggested that the US pushed Georgia toward war and added that he suspected a connection to the American presidential campaign.
Putin's comments sought to present the military operation as a response to brazen, cold war-style provocations by the US. A seemingly angry looking Putin suggested in the interview that the Bush administration may have tried to create a crisis that would influence American voters in the choice of a successor to President Bush.
"The suspicion would arise that someone in the United States created this conflict on purpose to stir up the situation and to create an advantage for one of the candidates in the competitive race for the presidency in the United States," the New York Times quoted Putin as saying in an interview.
He added, "They needed a small victorious war."
Putin said in the CNN interview that Russia had thought that the United States would prevent Georgia from attacking South Ossetia, but suggested that he now believed that the Bush administration encouraged Mr. Saakashvili to send in his military.
"The American side in fact armed and trained the Georgian Army," Mr. Putin said. "Why hold years of difficult talks and seek complex compromise solutions in interethnic conflicts? It's easier to arm one of the sides and push it into the murder of the other side, and it's over. It seemed like an easy solution. The thing is, it turns out that it's not always so."
McCain is loathed in the Kremlin because he has a close relationship with Georgia's president Mikheil Saakashvili and has called for imposing stiff penalties on Russia, including throwing it out of the Group of 8 industrialized nations.
Meanwhile, the White House dubbed Putin's comments as absurd, underscoring the depth of the rift between Moscow and Washington over the Georgia crisis, which flared three weeks ago when the Georgian military tried to reclaim a breakaway enclave allied with Russia.
White House spokeswoman Dana M. Perino dismissed Putin's remarks, calling them irrational. "To suggest that the US orchestrated this on behalf of a political candidate just sounds not rational," she said and added, "It also sounds like his defense officials who said they believe this to be true are giving him really bad advice."
Russia has been struggling to persuade the outside world to back its action in Georgia. On Thursday, China and four other countries meeting with Russia for the annual summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a security alliance, declined to back Russia's military action in a joint communiqué. (ANI)
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