President Giorgi Margvelashvili said that the treaty signed by Moscow and Sokhumi on November 24 is “a step towards annexation” of Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia, which “further aggravates situation in South Caucasus”, leads the “process of normalization” of ties between Georgia and Russia to a “deadlock”, and poses threat to the Abkhaz people as well.
“It is obvious that without adequate response, Russia will continue its expansionist and annexationist policy on the post-Soviet space,” Margvelashvili said in a televised statement.
“Therefore the policy of non-recognition [of Abkhazia and South Ossetia] should be complemented by the component of anti-annexation policy,” he said. “We call on the international community to jointly undertake concrete anti-annexation steps.”
He called for holding of an international forum to elaborate “long-term, strategic approaches”, as well as “concrete measures” to counter attempts to draw new, “illegitimate borders in Europe.”
President Margvelashvili called for unity within Georgia in the face of this problem and said that Tbilisi should push high on the international agenda “threat” that Russia creates not only to Georgia, but to the entire region and Europe as well. He said that Georgian political parties, civil society organizations, think-tanks, media outlets should make use of every possible international venue for this purpose.
“Threats, which this treaty creates to the population living in Abkhazia, to their social and economic development, to their identity, to their culture, language and traditions, should also be identified,” Margvelashvili said.
He also called on the head of Georgian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ilia II, and leaders of other religious groups in Georgia, to “use their authority” in urging the world not to “let assimilation of small nations.”
The President also called for joint efforts of political parties and of the entire society for developing “a joint, agreed vision about what Georgia can offer in the condition of Western integration to the population living in the occupied territories.”
Margvelashvili said that in order to discuss all these issues, he will hold series of meetings with parliamentary and non-parliamentary political parties, non-governmental organizations and academic circles.
“We should get united for the sake of peace and better future,” President Margvelashvili said.