The US should quit blaming Russia for starting the war in Georgia, writes Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Wall Street Journal, and think hard before backing Tbilisi to the detriment of relations with Moscow. Georgia's "ruthless military assault" in South Ossetia forced the hand of Russia. "When the positions of your peacekeepers and the civilian population they have been mandated to protect are shelled, the sources of such attacks are legitimate targets."
And he blames US encouragement and support of the "irresponsible and unpredictable" Georgian government for the event, asking whether "by US standards, a democratic government is allowed to act in brutal fashion against a civilian population it claims to be its own, simply because it is 'democratic'?" Lavrov pans Washington for putting at risk strategic partnerships with his country. “The US will have to choose between its virtual Georgia project and its much broader partnership with Russia.”