Georgia assesses Russia's position as "direct threat"

Lavrov: "Russian citizens being attacked is an attack against the Russian Federation." Photo by Reuters, 24 Apr 2014 - 17:47, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian officials have assessed Russian Foreign Minister’s statement about Ukrainian crisis as a "direct threat” and say this position is unacceptable.

"By this time, when the position of the rest of the world is combined and a pretty solid common platform has been formed, Russia is trying to show that it is not going to retreat,” Gia Volski, a Parliamentary majority member said today.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday, Russia would take action if its interests in Ukraine were attacked. He drew a parallel with the situation in Ukraine with the 2008 Georgian war.

In response to Lavrov’s statement, the Deputy Prime Minister of Georgia Kakha Kaladze said the current situation in Ukraine was "very painful” and the Russian Foreign Minister’s comments needed to be treated "very carefully.”

The Parliamentary majority members said this was not the position of a country who was a permanent member of the UN Security Council but of a state that directly aimed to make an annexation of neighboring nations.

Speaking on a Russian television program Lavrov confirmed Russia’s aggressive stance towards the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Describing the worst case scenario in Ukraine during an interview with state-run TV channel RT, he said: "If we are attacked we would certainly respond.”

"If our interests, our legitimate interests and the interests of Russians have been attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia for example, I do not see any other way but to respond in accordance with international law,” he said.

"Russian citizens being attacked is an attack against the Russian Federation,” he told RT.

He referred to Russia's 2008 invasion of Georgia after Georgia sent troops into the breakaway region of South Ossetia to regain control from Russian-backed rebels.

In the same interview Lavrov accused the US of "running the show" in Ukraine.

"(Americans) have, I think, overwhelming influence," he said.

"They act in a much more open way, without any scruples compared to the Europeans ... You cannot avoid the impression that they are running the show very much, very much."

The US State Department on Wednesday dismissed Lavrov’s comments, saying it was "ludicrous."

"Many of the claims he made in the interview are ludicrous and they are not based on fact," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.