PM Irakli Garibashvili, who five months ago said that Russia “is not interested in annexing” Georgia’s breakaway regions, condemned signing of new treaty between Moscow and Sokhumi on November 24 as “an unequivocal step taken by Russia toward the actual annexation” of Abkhazia.
“It poses a serious threat to security in the region and Europe as a whole,” the Georgian PM said in a written statement. “The Georgian Government will never give up the principle of the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and it has no intention of compromising on this issue. As for the level of normalization of the relations between Georgia and Russia, it is defined by Russia’s respect for this principle.”
The PM’s statement also says that the newly signed treaty shows “challenge which the Russian Federation presents to Georgia, including to the European aspirations of the population living the region of Abkhazia.”
“Despite of this challenge, Georgia’s foreign policy course remains unchanged, and the Georgian government will continue its efforts to provide to the population of the region of Abkhazia with prospects for European development, which is not directed against any country,” Garibashvili said in his statement.
Speaking with Georgian journalists in London, where he is now for meetings with senior executives of ratings agencies, Fitch, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, PM Garibashvili said that signing of this treaty demonstrated Moscow’s “unwillingness to actually improve relations” with Georgia.
He, however, also differentiated between “political” and “economic” relations with Russia, specifying that Moscow does not want to improve “political” relations with Georgia.
“As far as economic relations are concerned – that a separate issue and we are not touching that and I do not want to mention it in the same context as [political relations],” PM Garibashvili said.
The Georgian PM has also called on the international community “to make a relevant legal and political assessment of Russia’s actions and to address them adequately.”