David Woods
Baltimore Sun
August 30, 2008

MOSCOW (AFP) — Russia remained embroiled in a diplomatic war of words Friday after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the United States of provoking the conflict in Georgia.

President Dmitry Medvedev held talks with his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rakhmon in Dushanbe as he sought international support and was to visit a Russian military base in the former Soviet republic.

The United States said it was sending another warship to Georgia with humanitarian aid and was reconsidering an agreement on civilian nuclear cooperation with Russia .

Putin, the powerful former Kremlin leader, said the US administration had a hand in the five-day war between Russian and Georgian forces and drew a link with the US presidential campaign.

There were Americans in the conflict zone “doing as they were ordered, and the only one who can give such orders is their leader”, Putin said.

“If my guess is right, then it raises the suspicion that someone in the US specially created this conflict to worsen the situation and create an advantage in the competitive struggle for one of the candidates for the post of president of the United States,” he told CNN television.

“They needed a short, victorious war,” he said.

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