Twenty days have passed since the death of Georgian citizen, Archil Tatunashvili, in unclear circumstances in Georgia’s Russian occupied region of Tskhinvali (South Ossetia).
His body has yet to be handed over to the Tatunashvili family for burial, while two other men, Levan Kutashvili and Ioseb Pavliashvili, detained with Tatunashvili on February 22, were only able to leave the occupied region late on Sunday.
Having urged the leadership of the Russian Federation to take joint steps and resolve this "complicated situation”, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has made yet another statement concerning "this most grievous case which took place in Tskhinvali” at today’s cabinet meeting.
I would like to state unequivocally that our every step serves our country’s interests, of course, and when our country needs it—when we are talking about averting serious provocations and ensuring stability in the country—we the politicians must do our best to defuse tension, even though it may take a toll on our image", PM Kvirikashvili said.
On March 9 the Georgian Prime Minister urged Russia to take joint steps to resolve the case of Tatunashvili’s death in the occupied Tskhinvali region that took place on February 23. However, the PM’s address has given rise to a multitude of opinions among the ruling and opposition parties.
Expressing their sadness over Tatunashvili’s death, the Russian Federation responded that the case is far out of the framework of the Russian-Georgian agenda.
Welcoming Georgian PM’s readiness for a direct dialogue with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said this is the only real way to solve pressing issues.
We must try, do our best, to ensure the unwavering and consistent protection of our country’s interests, fulfil the mandate granted to us by our population, and to provide stable living conditions in the country. This has been and will be our primary goal, and I reiterate that we will surely take steps in this direction", Kvirikashvili said today.
Kvirikashvili once again reiterated importance of the Geneva International Discussions to achieve real progress, which since the Russia-Georgia war in August 2008 has been the only format of dialogue between Georgia and Russia.
He said relevant steps must be taken under this format to achieve even small progress, because "this small progress is a source of stability in Georgia and if there is anything our country needs in this unstable world today it is the ability to live in stability”.