US Assistant Secretary of State: It is pity we didn’t wake up immediately after the Russia-Georgia war, 12 Sep 2018 - 16:35, Tbilisi,Georgia

US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell stated in Tbilisi today that western countries have only recently ‘woken up’ and realised that Russia is a threat. He said the west could not see the threat from Russia even after the Russia-Georgia 2008 war. 

Earlier, they [western politicians] used to say that Russia is not threat. Now, they have woken up in the West and realised that Russia is a threat. It is a pity that we did not wake up [directly] after the Russia-Georgia war and this fact became the precondition for starting the war in Ukraine,” Mitchell said during a conference organised by the McCain Institute and the Georgian Economic Policy Development Centre.

The West has now woken up and they already know that Russia is a serious player. We must say goodbye to the idea that Russia is weak, we must say goodbye to the idea that economic stagnation in Russia is weakening Russia. Putin is a threat and he is carrying out aggression,” Mitchell stated. 

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, who also delivered a speech at the conference, stated that the country’s future president should be very clear and vocal about Russian illegalities in Georgia.

 He also said that no one in the country should justify Russian aggression and occupation.