Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said Moscow’s recent moves towards Ukraine pose a threat to the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the Georgian Foreign Ministry said that it “actually means launch of aggression” against the sovereign country.
Statements were made after Russian President Vladimir Putin received approval from the upper house of parliament to use Russian troops in Ukraine, citing “threat to the lives of citizens of the Russian Federation, our compatriots, and the personnel of the armed forces” of Russia stationed in Crimea.
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“Developments in Ukraine, particularly in Crimea, took an extremely dangerous turn. Distribution of [Russian] passports, reinforcing military infrastructure and units by Russia on the territory of other state, as well as the decision to protect with armed forces ‘interests of compatriots’ living in Ukraine, represent flagrant interference in the internal affairs of the sovereign state… and pose a threat to Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” President Margvelashvili said in a written statement on March 1.
“Solving of fate, future and territorial integrity of the states through pressure and forceful interference from other state is inadmissible. We call on the international community not to allow new conflict in Europe and to use all the available means in order to avert possible aggression and to preserve sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” the Georgian President said.
Georgian Parliament Speaker, Davit Usupashvili, said in a written statement that with this move Russia threw out yet another challenge to the democratic world.
“I hope that the U.S., the EU and the entire democratic world will be able to do what was not made possible in August 2008 in Georgia and will not allow Russian aggression against the neighboring country,” Usupashvili said.
“I am confident that in this difficult moment all the political forces and leaders in Georgia will act in accordance to country’s vital interests and will spare no effort for supporting the Ukrainian people, as well as for ensuring our country’s security,” the Georgian parliament speaker said.
His statement was made shortly after the UNM opposition party called on the government to voice “unequivocal and steadfast position in support of Ukraine” and “to condemn Russia’s brazen military aggression against Ukraine.” UNM has also called for convening an emergency session of Parliament on Sunday to adopt a resolution in support of Ukraine.
Georgian First Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani said that Russian parliament’s approval of President Putin’s request for the use of troops in Ukraine “under the pretext” of protecting Russian citizens “actually means launch of aggression” against Ukraine.
“We call on the international community to promptly take measures to prevent escalation,” the Georgian deputy foreign minister told Rustavi 2 TV.
“Process that is taking place right now is especially painful and at the same time familiar for us; that’s how Russian aggression was starting in Georgia too, which resulted into grave consequences for our country – occupation of our territories, and the international community, regrettably, is incapable to force Russia fulfill its obligation to pull out its troops,” Zalkaliani said.
“We will stand in solidarity with the international community in undertaking all the measure in order not to allow Russia to carry out aggression and not to allow intervention in the sovereign territory of Ukraine,” the Georgian deputy foreign minister said.
He also said that he would try to get in touch with Ukrainian foreign minister Andrii Deshchytsia “to express support.”
“We will also have communication with our friends in the framework of GUAM [Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova], because the situation is really alarming and consequences might be grave not only for Ukraine but also for the entire region,” Zalkaliani said.
He expressed hope that reaction from the West will be “clear and prompt.”
“We are facing fast-moving developments in Ukraine and there should be no delay in response; an immediate reaction is needed,” the Georgian deputy foreign minister said.