12 Sep 2018 - 16:35
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.
A consistent message throughout #TbilisiConf echoed by Wess Mitchell: The success of democracy in Georgia is the only way - longterm - to secure Georgia and accelerate the path to Western institutions. pic.twitter.com/f1aG2QmLXj— McCain Institute (@McCainInstitute) September 12, 2018
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.
President of Georgia has to hold to main value: Georgia is a sovereign independent nation with right to protect itself, choose its allies & no whatsoever justification of the occupation or the Russian aggression is or will be acceptable. #TbilisiConf @McCainInstitute pic.twitter.com/xLRtSPNRaU— President Of Georgia (@MargvelashviliG) September 12, 2018
He also said that no one in the country should justify Russian aggression and occupation.