Financial Times: “Georgia calls on west to condemn Abkhazia treaty with Russia”

“It shows that [Russia] does not respond to our constructive policy in the same spirit,” Mr Garibashvili said., Nov 27, 2014, Tbilisi, Georgia

The signing of a controversial alliance deal between Russia and an occupied region of Georgia is extremely concerning to the Georgian Prime Minister, who spoke to the Financial Times about his plight to have the so-called treaty condemned by the West and for consequential actions to be taken in response.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili believed the ‘Alliance and Strategic Partnership’ treaty was a reaction against Georgia’s aspiration for closer integration with Europe, after Tbilisi signed a political and trade deal with the EU in July, and "another step towards annexation” of the breakaway region by Moscow, writes the magazine’s East Europe reporter Neil Buckley.

The agreement, coming eight months after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, has aroused concerns in western capitals that Moscow might launch creeping attempts to absorb other disputed territories or areas of "frozen conflict” in former Soviet republics,” writes Buckley.

The article’s author examines Georgia’s efforts to restore relations with Russia since the two countries fought a brief but bloody war in August 2008 and the fears Georgia now had about Russia creating a similar deal with its other occupied region South Ossetia, as well as Moldova’s occupied region Transnistria.

Garibashvili said better trade relations with Moscow had benefited both sides but there had been "no improvement” in political relations as Russia had refused to budge on Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Tbilisi insisted should be reintegrated with Georgia.

"It shows that [Russia] does not respond to our constructive policy in the same spirit,” Mr Garibashvili said. "We have proved that we are a constructive government, we are pragmatic people, we want to have peace and normalised relations with everyone, including Russia. Our European integration aspiration is our choice . . .[but] it is not against anybody.”

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