Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili defended his country's actions against Russia during an interview Friday with FOX News, and he spoke against the presence of a long-term Russian peacekeeping force.
"We had to respond hard," he told FOX News. "Blaming the victim for the aggression [is not the right thing]. We chose to resist [Russia]. What else would any responsible democracy do? It is very unfortunate what is happening here. It is the worst nightmare of any president of any country can find themselves in."
Saakashvill dismissed accusations that his country was at fault for the almost week-long violence that has taken over parts of Georgia — blaming the conflict solely on Russia.
"This was clearly a very well though-out, prepared plan," he said.
Earlier Saakashvill signed a cease-fire agreement with Russia that protects the former Soviet republic's interests despite concessions to Moscow.
The cease-fire plan calls for the immediate withdrawal of Russian combat troops from Georgia, but allows Russian peacekeepers who were in South Ossetia when violence erupted to remain and take a greater role there.
But Saakashvill told FOX News that he doesn't want the Russian peacekeepers there for long, suggesting they are not true peacekeepers.
"We don't know they are peacekeepers, they are occupiers," he said. "They should withdraw, like the rest of country. These are criminals ... [who] are staying on my country's territory on some pretense to be peacekeepers."
Instead, Saakashvill said he expects international peacekeepers to be in Georgia within a few weeks.
"We are not going to tolerate them for long periods," he told FOX News. "They have nothing to do here."
Saakashvill sidestepped a question about whether he thought Russia's involvement was an assassination attempt on him.
"As I said, that doesn't matter," he said. "They wanted in my country. they took the lives of many other people, including children, women and journalists."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.