Although Russia continues occupation of Georgian territories, Tbilisi keeps on pursuing policy of “constructive unilateralism” towards Moscow, President Saakashvili said on May 9.
“Cynicism of the current situation” 67 years after the defeat of Nazi Germany, he said, “is that occupying [force] and occupied [territories] have re-emerged on the territory of the former Soviet Union.”
“I want to remind you that according to the European Parliament resolution, as well as other international resolutions, Russia is carrying out illegal military occupation of Georgia’s territories,” he told World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) conference in Batumi on May 9.
“I think this is an insult of the Russian people by its government, that the very same country, which, along with other nations, gained victory in struggle against the Fascism occupation, now itself is an occupying [power],” Saakashvili said.
He said that despite of that Georgia had declared, as he put it, “constructive unilateralism” towards Russia.
“I do not know any other country, which has done this towards Russia in recent years,” Saakashvili said.
“While it is actually almost impossible to obtain Russian visa for Georgians, we have unilaterally lifted visa [requirements] for citizens of the Russian Federation. Despite of multiple warnings from the Russian Foreign Ministry that [Russian citizens] face danger in Georgia, there is actually a boom of Russian tourists [travelling] here,” he said.
“That is Georgia’s approach. Our approach is that [citizens of] not a single country should need visa for entry into Georgia,” he said. “It has political and security aspect. Arrival of one million Russians is not only an economic issue for us, it means that one million citizens of the Russian Federation will take back [to Russia] truth about Georgia,” Saakashvili said.
Saakashvili said last year that his unilateral declaration of non-use of force in 2010, to which Russia is refusing to reciprocate, was also part of Tbilisi’s “constructive unilateralism” towards Moscow.