Georgia marks Independence Day on May 26 with festivities and outdoor events in Tbilisi and other parts of the country. On this day 99 years ago Georgia declared its independence, which was extinguished by the military invasion of the Bolshevik Red Army on 25 February 1921. Georgia declared its independence to be restored on April 9, 1991.
An official ceremony was opened by more than 300 soldiers who graduated the Basic Combat Training Center and swore a military oath of allegiance to the motherland. President Giorgi Margvelashvili addressed the troops, the officials, guests and Tbilicites gathered on this occasion on Freedom Square.
“On behalf of multinational Georgia, I want to reiterate to everyone, our IDP population, our compatriots living beyond the occupation line that the Georgian state will never step back from its path towards reunification and territorial integrity and we will achieve this goal with the most powerful weapon - through building a successful state,” President Margvelashvili said.
“We are patiently waiting for the moment, when the EU and NATO decide to become stronger through accepting Georgia as a member,” the Georgian President added.
“Today, Georgia is an independent and free country determined never to give up this most glorious achievement,” Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said in his speech. “Peaceful and consistent policy is the weapon that will unite our homeland and reunite us with our Abkhaz and Ossetian brothers and sisters.”
“Today, Europe opens its doors wide for Georgian citizens, and I have no doubt in my mind that soon the modern democratic Georgian state will take its honorable place in the large family of European nations,” he added.
In his speech at the ceremony Georgian Defense Minister Levan Izoria touched upon Georgia’s new defense policy.
“Obligation for protection of unity, independence and responsibility in the situation when Georgian territories are occupied and [we are] facing existential threats, facilitates a need for pursuing new defense policy. This year, the government approved Strategic Defense Review document that includes a concept of total defense, which puts on the agenda the synchronization of all international projects [with this approach], especially Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, U.S.-Georgia Readiness Programme, mobilization of all resources of national defense and intensification of interagency cooperation,” he said.
“The cornerstone of this policy is further involvement of the society [in nation`s defense], strengthening of patriotic spirit, and also in taking more responsibility for Georgia’s unity, independence and freedom,” the Defense Minister noted.
Military hardware and armament were displayed for the public viewing on the Freedom Square in Tbilisi, as well as in other cities of Georgia.