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Saakashvili Address on Russia’s Abkhazia, S.Ossetia Recognition
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 26 Aug.'08 / 22:59

Saakashvili’s televised address to the nation following the Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia’s independence on August 26.

As you know Russia’s made a unilateral decision in respect of Georgia’s two regions.

This is the first attempt since Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union, when a large state tried to at first force a neighboring state to kneel down and then tries to openly annex [the neighboring state’s] two regions, hence is trying to redraw borders in Europe.

After a failure to kneel down Georgia as a result of military aggression, ouster of the Georgian government, shattering Georgia’s fundamental values and Georgia’s disappearance from map as they planned it, as well as after the Georgian army, people and the entire international community showed huge resistance and heroism Russia decided to announce about this unimaginable illegality.

I want everyone to understand one thing: Russia’s today’s step is totally illegal, which will have no legal consequences either for Georgia or rest of the world.

Today, yesterday and in recent weeks Russia made unimaginable strategic mistakes and hit an unimaginable blow to its place in the international community and in the history of the contemporary world.

My entire presidency was dedicated to preventing staying alone in a situation in which we are now.

Russia’s all the actions so far were directed towards leaving Georgia without supporters and alone as it was the case in 1921 [when the Bolshevik Red Army invaded Georgia]. This plan of Russia has been totally thwarted.

Georgia was totally alone and with no supporters – almost 100% of the world population even did not know the name and location of this country – back in 1992-1993 [when Georgia lost control over Abkhazia and South Ossetia].

But now Georgia has gained a huge international support and solidarity from all over the world and support towards our territorial integrity and we would have failed to gain such a huge support, even if we tried for 200 years, if not the mistakes made by Russia. Our intensive efforts of recent years brought results through mutual solidarity and through the mistakes made by Russia.

I want you to know that the Russia’s decision is being unanimously condemned by EU, the United States, Japan and all the civilized states in the world. All these states say that Georgia’s territorial integrity is totally untouchable.

Up to now we had to permanently speak out that these are not Georgia’s internal problems, that Russia is part of it, that Russia not a peace-loving country and that Russia is not an impartial ‘peacemaker.’ Unfortunately we were not able to confirm this to many [countries], because they had much other job to do [meaning that they had other priorities].

But now the restoration of Georgia’s territorial integrity and protection of Georgia’s independence is no longer a matter of only Georgia or a matter of Georgia-Russian relations; this is a matter of Russia and the rest of the civilized world.

Georgia’s independence and further strengthening is a matter between the Russian authorities – which are shattering laws – and the entire civilized world.

Georgia’s economic success, further development of our democracy is no longer a matter between us and Russia; this is a matter between Russia’s current illegal authorities and rest of the civilized world.

Georgia future is no longer the future of only Georgia; it is the future of freedom, democracy and of entire civilized mankind.

Russia tried to legalize control over at least two regions of Georgia, but instead it has received a huge and long-term problem and as never before it has shattered its position towards these conflicts and in fact downgraded its role to zero level in respect of Georgia’s internal affairs. So Russia has received something, which it was trying so hard to prevent for all these years.

Our goal today is to maintain our statehood, unity, calmness and heroic peaceful resistance, as well as our development.

Russia with this outrageous challenge to the international order, something that no one could dare to do with Europe after Stalin and Hitler, will receive a response from the Europe and free world, which remembers very well very bitter lessons of history.

We all should understand that our response to astonishingly unlawful and outrageous step is calmness, unity, development and further strengthening.

Our goal – and I have already appealed to all the concerned leaders – is accelerated integration into NATO in order to prevent reoccurrence of past mistakes and Georgia’s accelerated integration into European Union. We are part of the democratic world and the democratic world should embrace Georgia.

We already have first serious signals from our European and Trans-Atlantic partners. We have already received several very serious promises and concrete programs of Georgia’s economic revival and strengthening of Georgia’s security. Not only Georgia’s economy will be strong, but its security will also get stronger.

Our major goal today is to remain strong and united, civilized and European.

Georgia is not a large country, but Georgia is a country with extraordinary culture.

Our goal today is to help victims [of the conflict], to help those who have lost homes and businesses. We should not lose our hope, solidarity and unity.

Georgia will be independent, wealthy and united European country.

End of revival of the Russia’s imperialism has started today in Georgia.

Our goal is to let them understand that not only Georgia will kneel down, but it will be the end of everything what they are now talking about: restoration of Soviet Union, revival of empire.

Today and in recent weeks they have made very big mistake; they tried to break freedom-loving nation, but instead they met nonconformist and European-style, multi-ethnic Georgian society. In a clash between free and non-free forces it is non-free force that makes mistakes.

We will continue our struggle for Georgia’s development and for Georgia’s unity. Of course Georgia will be united. We will continue repressing the evil as we have been doing it in recent weeks.

In the recent weeks the entire world was looking at our country for the first time in our history. The entire world has seen us and it means that from now on we will not be along on our way towards the European choice; we will pass it together with our friends and of course we will peacefully unite Georgia.

My dear compatriots of all ethnicity!

The main thing that our ill-wisher has failed to see is scared Georgia; the main thing that they failed to see is Georgia left alone; the main thing that they have failed to see is Georgia running away and ruined Georgian state and its government… They have failed to see it and they won’t be able to see it in the future.

Georgia has materialized as the state; it will not be able to ever repeat [events of] 1921 in Georgia.

Georgia has survived and Georgia will get out of this [crisis] ten-fold stronger; everyone should understand that Georgia will never again kneel-down and Georgia will accomplish all of its goals, including restoration of territorial integrity.

God bless Georgia and our families.

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