Mikheil Saakashvili makes a statement before starting the new phase of dialogue with Russia

"During my visit in Moscow I will have a possibility to discuss with President Putin the issue on recognizing the independence of Kosovo and the subjects related to the conflict zones in our region. We have already agreed on meeting the President of Russia. There is a certain indication concerning possible decisions that will be made in immediate future and certain steps made in that direction by Russia. I wish to remind my colleagues in Russia - they met Bagapshi and Kokoit yesterday; these are the people who threaten us by targeting Aircrafts and are really busy with encouraging illegal, terrorist activities. They are the facilitators of ethnic clearance, and this is not in the interests of Russia and do not serve the common sense.

I have listened to the statement, that Russia has the right to defend their citizens on Georgian territory as well. If there are Russian citizens on Abkhaz or Tskhinvali territories, they should be considered illegal and we do not recognize their citizenship. No state has the right to make their own citizenship legal on the Georgian territory without a permission of Georgian government and to have certain pretensions on defending their citizens, specially by means of power.

Everyone who lives in Abkhazia and South Ossetia is the citizen of Georgia according to the Georgian law. We have a constitutional obligation and legal rights to defend our territory and the people living on it.

I would like to reach out to our Russian colleagues and tell them - not to play with fire.

We wish to establish bilateral relationships in civilized and friendly way. But our ancestors left these territories to us and Generations of Georgians fell dead defending these territories, not to give anyone the right to have any doubts concerning Georgian boundaries and the integrity of the country. As long as we are alive, nobody will see it happen!

Before starting the new phase of our dialogue I ask my friends in Moscow, to consider it seriously. And all of us have to be sober.

Press Office
of the President of Georgia

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