Speaking to Imedi TV on April 19, Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze outlined Tbilisi’s strategy towards the occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, saying that the Government’s Sokhumi and Tskhinvali policy rests on three main pillars.
According to Janelidze, the Georgian Government’s efforts aim, first of all, at securing “decisions and resolutions in international organizations, which hold the Russian Federation accountable for its actions and which enable the conflict resolution in legal terms.”
Another component of the Government’s policy, in the words of Mikheil Janelidze, is to conduct “such type of a dialogue” with the Russian Federation, which “would exclude any possibility of conflict escalation and [so] that we have an opportunity to develop our democratic institutions, to firmly pursue our European integration path, NATO integration path, to continue our economic reforms, to achieve economic growth and create welfare.”
Mikheil Janelidze added that the previous component would help achieve the third pillar – “reintegration, reconciliation and unification of [divided] communities.”
“It is time for the residents of the occupied territories of Abkhazia and Samachablo (Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia) to understand that what Russia manages to achieve is [only] the visit of its foreign minister to show as if the Russian Federation will support them internationally,” Janelidze noted.
“Our activities have demonstrated that the international community is fully mobilized to avoid conflict escalation, to achieve peaceful conflict resolution and to do it only through the observance of the principle of Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” he added.
Commenting Sergey Lavrov’s April 19 statement on the possible resumption of transit connection between Russia and Armenia running through Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia, the Foreign Minister stated: “we are talking about the territory of Georgia; therefore, any decision that will be made, will be made in accordance with the Georgian legislation and Georgian Government’s decisions.”
“This is the issue that cannot be a subject to recommendations or visions of the occupation regime,” Janelidze concluded.