The topic of Georgia should be on the agenda at the next meeting of the President of the United States with his Russian counterpart, to send a signal that the US is "fully allied" with the country, Georgia's Ambassador to the United States David Bakradze says in an opinion piece for Newsweek.
Published on Georgia's Independence Day celebrations on Wednesday, Bakradze's op-ed comes ahead of President Biden's meeting with Vladimir Putin in June, and says questions including the continued occupation of two of Georgia's regions by Russian-backed de-facto regimes should be raised by Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the encounter.
Russia and their proxy "governments" [refuse] to accede to the international community's demands that they withdraw and return the land they illegally seized. America's support to make Georgia whole again is critical
- David Bakradze
Beside ongoing "mischief" at the administrative line separating the areas from the Georgian-controlled territory, other forms of aggression and interference from Russia are designed to cause instability in the country and the wider region, the ambassador notes.
The op-ed names the cases ranging from cyberattacks to "economic subterfuge", but says these are unable to overcome Georgia's aspirations on electoral democracy and institutional development.
The friendship and guidance of the U.S. has been with Georgia from day one of our independence. Today, in the aftermath of the worst health disaster in a century, we need America and our allies to provide even more friendship and support
- David Bakradze
Examples of these include the recent resolution of the months-long political crisis in the country, sparked following the October 31, 2020 parliamentary elections. The agreement involving the government and the opposition with mediation from the European Union and the US demonstrated the progress in the area, Bakradze points out in the piece.
The op-ed also argues for stronger assistance for Georgia from its allies in achieving economic recovery post-pandemic, with increased efforts for security cooperation in the Black Sea region, and support for preparing the country for its membership in the EU, being other areas for deepening the already existing cooperation.
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