Speeches & Statements

The President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili holds the Security Council Session

The President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili opened the Security Council Session today. He called the lifting of economic sanctions for Abkhazia immoral step on the Moscow side and indicated that this action was caused by the Kosovo recognition.

"I think that we must agree on several issues about the decision made by the Russian government yesterday.

First - all level officials warned us, and this was the precondition of this decision, that they would respond to US and to the West on Kosowo specifically concerning Georgia, and especially reffering Abkhazia.

Thus, Russia views it as an action against Georgia, and that is true, but as their demarche towards the West, the North-Atlantic Alliance and the US in general.

This was what they directly stated during our visit in Moscow.

It is very regretful, specially when we hoped and took definite steps to improve bilateral relationships.

We must say the following: firstly, lifting sanctions off Abkhazia and before that distributing Russian passports to the residents of Abkhazia - to those population who remain in Abkhazia and they constitute less than 20% of Abkhazia's overall population, because over 80% of Abkhazia's population has been expelled from there as a result of the 20th century's one of the most brutal and forgotten ethnic cleansing - is an immoral and illegal action undertaken against the international law and humanity.

I want to tell every legal person in Russia, who plans or is already investing in Abkhazia, or is engaged in any type of economic transaction in Abkhazia: this is the property, that belongs to ethnic Georgians, ethnic Russians, ethnic Jews, ethnic Greeks, ethnic Ukrainians, ethnic Estonians expelled from Abkhazia.

I want to tell these people, that I promised them that they would be able to return their property!

And I promise those people in Russia who wish to illegally obtain this property - it will be confiscated!

This is an unconditional and strict warning of the Georgian President, who has a legal right to take this action!

The second and major issue - this action that was undertaken by the Russian federation is an extremely dangerous provocation that is directly aimed to the destabilization in this region and entire Caucasus and at generating totally uncontrolled processes.

Georgia will do its best to prevent this type of development of the scenario.

These sanctions, first of all, were envisaged on importing military equipment from Russia, as well as sanctions on deployment of Russian, or foreign military instructors and military forces.

As a result Russia has actually taken certain steps towards creating threat of militarization in this region. Today I want to strictly underline the position of the Georgian government and the authorities:

We declare the policy of zero tolerance towards the deployment of armed forces, military equipment, military instructors, hired military armed forces in Abkhazia!

We declare policy of zero tolerance towards militarization of Abkhazia!

In case of the launch and deepening of Abkhazia's militarization, full responsibility for all the consequences will be laid on Russia and its authorities, which with this decision practically laid down the foundation to such developments. I once again repeat that destabilization is not in the interests of Georgia. We are ready to quite openly work with the international community to prevent further difficulties.

But I think that making Georgia's one part a hostage of the geopolitical games is an uncalculated and dangerous step, first of all, for the initiators of this step.

I think this is a very wrong, very immoral and very provocative action.

I want to call for consolidation, calmness. I want to call for being organized and attentive.

The Georgian-Russian border lies on the Psou.

And we have never allowed anyone to cross the border illegally and to undertake any unilateral actions without the authorization of the Georgian government.

All those actions are against the Georgian legislation and the norms of international law.

I think we should continue working with our partners, with our friends, international community. We should continue our course towards integration to the North Atlantic alliance, towards preparing for the NATO summit in Bucharest.

It is not just a coincidence that these actions are undertaken just now ahead of the Bucharest summit. But Georgia should not be derailed from its main, strategic course.

It is very important to draw certain conclusions from the current developments" - stated the President of Georgia.

Press Office
of the President of Georgia

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