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Saakashvili's Remarks with Five EU Foreign Ministers
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 12 May.'08 / 17:54

President Saakashvili remarks made at a joint press briefing with Lithuanian, Latvian, Polish, Swedish and Slovenian foreign ministers in Tbilisi on May 12:

“Our task is to settle this conflict peacefully and to restore Georgia’s territorial integrity, actually as it is recognized de jure.

I want to say that recent actions by the Russian Federation are source of concern. We urge the European Union to formally investigate – although statements have already been made [by EU] - incident involving incursion of the Russian jet into the Georgian airspace, which conducted military action; we also request the EU to study, investigate and react on illegal movement of Russian peacekeeping forces. We also want EU’s more active involvement in the conflict resolution process.

It is absolutely clear that Russian peacekeepers are not legitimate participants of the process. Russia is the party in the process. Unfortunately, the Russian Federation and its officials are violating international norms of conduct.

I showed a leaflet to our guests [five EU foreign ministers] about a city of Sochi where the [2014 Winter] Olympics should take place. The most part of this leaflet is dedicated to Abkhazia, to a 230-kilometer shoreline of Abkhazia. This is a clear example of what the plans are. This leaflet was published before recognition of Kosovo independence. It was published before NATO Bucharest Summit. It was published before the recent tensions.

I also want to give to our guests a report issued by the U.S. Congress in 1955 on annexation and occupation of Georgia in 1921 [by the Bolshevik red army]. One can clearly see how those events [of 1921] resemble those of today. At that time the Bolshevik army intruded [into Georgia] under the pretext of assisting as if oppressed minority. At that time it ended up with Georgia’s occupation and annexation. What is now going on is an obviously act of annexation; a prelude to the act of annexation and act of occupation.

At that time Europe left Georgia alone. It even did not speak out.

These reports are being published in order to express hope that Europe will never repeat its mistakes, because Georgia’s occupation was followed by an attack on Poland, by occupation of the Baltic States and a bloody war in Finland. It was also followed by unimaginable strengthening of Stalinist regime. I hope that history will not be repeated so tragically.

Today not only Georgia’s issue – and especially Abkhazia’s issue - is concerned. Today the Europe’s future is at stake.

Europe has not faced such a big challenge since the end of the Cold War.

We are disposed to settle the conflict peacefully, we are disposed to have close and friendly cooperation with Russia; we are disposed to have calmness, peace and development in Georgia.

We have a peace plan and we are ready to implement it - this is a very brave, very radical, very flexible peace plan, which thoroughly reflects the interests of ethnic Abkhazians, first of all. This plan is aimed at protecting peace and security in this region.

I want to distribute these leaflets among our friends [referring to five EU foreign ministers].

It is written like we are reading yesterday’s paper, although it is about the events that took place almost hundred years ago.

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