Georgia accuses Russia of trying to 'legitimize regions that were forcibly taken away’

While commenting on the reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to visit Sukhumi on August 8, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated that Tbilisi would construct a meaningful response to the illegal actions of Russia, reported the Voice of America. August 8 is the day of the ninth anniversary of the Russian-Georgian war, after which Moscow recognized the independence of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region.

"These statements, which we heard in connection with the visit of high-ranking Russian officials to our occupied regions, certainly continue the policy we have witnessed; it is an attempt to legitimize the status of the regions forcibly taken from Georgia," said Giorgi Kvirikashvili at a government meeting.

The Georgian Prime Minister stated that the main task of his government at this stage is to settle the conflict with Russia peacefully with the help of international partners, as well as to reconcile the Georgian populations living on both sides of the occupation line.

"Of course, we must do everything possible to succeed peacefully, with the support of our international strategic partners, in constructively resolving our conflict with Russia through political means and, of course, reconciling our population living on both sides of the occupation line and uniting our country. This is our main task and in its successful implementation none of us, including myself personally, doubt," said the Georgian Prime Minister.

At the same time, Victor Dolidze, State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, was more straightforward in his commentary for the media, linking Putin's trip to Abkhazia with the US Vice President Mike Pence's recent visit to Tbilisi. According to Dolidze, Moscow thusly reacted as a result of the successfully developing strategic partnership between Washington and Tbilisi.

"But we must not yield to provocations...We will do our best to settle the problem of the territorial integrity of Georgia only by peaceful means," Dolidze said on August 3.

The Administration of the President of Georgia also commented on the yet-unconfirmed report on the forthcoming visit of Putin to the occupied Sukhumi.

"This visit is an attempt to legitimize historical injustice on the part of Russia. But this is a lost war, as the policy of non-recognition of the occupied territories is very solid and we can say that Georgia truly won this war. When it comes to actions of this type, it damages first and foremost the image of the Russian Federation," said Tengiz Pkhaladze, Foreign Relations Secretary for the Georgian President.

  Georgia, Russia, Abkhazia, Putin