Salome Zurabishvili: Irakli Gedenidze / Reuters
The President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili in an interview with Deutsche Welle accused Russia of the occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
“20 percent of our territory is occupied,” — said the head of state, answering a question about relations with Moscow. Later in the interview Zurabishvili four more times said the Russian occupation of part of Georgian territory.
She recalled that between Tbilisi and Moscow has no diplomatic relations after the armed conflict in 2008, so the issue of contacts with the Russian side, Georgia is counting on international partners. “They need to be, if not the middlemen, then, at least, lawyers of Georgia, to make it clear to Russia that it needs to build relationships with our neighbors on the principles of mutual respect, respect for international law”, says Zurabishvili. In its view, the Geneva Georgian-Russian negotiations from August 2008, with the mediation of the European Union, the OSCE and the UN, should lead to a new political level.
Relations between Moscow and Tbilisi escalated this summer after a series of anti-Russian protests in Georgia, which began on the background of participation of the Russian delegation in the session of the Interparliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy, during which the Deputy of the state Duma Sergey Gavrilov sat in the chair of speaker of the Georgian Parliament. Soon the Russian side has banned Russian airlines to fly to Georgia, and Georgia — to fly to Russia; there have been discussions about the possibility of a ban of deliveries to Russia of Georgian wine and water. The tension between the two countries also increased after swearing in the President of Russia Vladimir Putin on air Georgian channel Rustavi 2, but the Russian head of state said that he does not need to respond with sanctions or criminal prosecution.
Video, photo All from Russia.