• Germany's news in English

German minister says Georgia breaking international law

AFP · 10 Aug 2008, 10:14

Published: 10 Aug 2008 10:14 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Gernot Erler said Tbilisi had breached a 1992 ceasefire agreement struck with Russia over the renegade Caucasus enclave, monitored essentially by Russian peacekeepers.

"In this sense, it is also a question of a violation of international law as soon as you start to go down the road of military action," Erler told German radio station NDR Info on Saturday.

Erler acknowledged prior provocation of the Georgian leadership from Russian-backed South Ossetia's separatists, but said he understood Russia's reaction.

While South Ossetia remains sovereign Georgian territory, Russia has taken over the role of providing economic support to the region, Erler noted.

From a Russian perspective, peacekeeping troops have therefore been attacked.

"It's an insane, bloody war which will surely do nothing to resolve the problem of this separatist Ossetian province," added Erler, deputy to Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Steinmeier himself called for the Georgians and Russians to pull back their troops, warning of the "danger of a perilous fire" which could engulf the Caucasus region.

"It is nothing less than the threat of war.... We are facing the threat of a dangerous fire" that could spread in the region, Steinmeier said in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

Several more members of their Social Democratic party, as well as the opposition Greens, have adopted a critical attitude towards Tbilisi, in contrast to Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives.

Story continues below…

Merkel is due to meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, not far from the border with Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia, on Friday.

Georgia declared a "state of war" on Saturday as Russia bombed the country and their armies battled for control of the separatist region of South Ossetia.

Alongside another former Soviet republic, Ukraine, Georgia was prevented from obtaining candidate status for NATO membership at an alliance summit earlier this year.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Parents who don't get nursery spot for kid entitled to pay
Photo: DPA

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on Thursday that parents whose children don't receive placements in nursery care are entitled to compensation.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd