George Soros on Georgia’s Russian-occupied territories

George Soros is paying a two-day visit in Tbilisi. Photo by Open Society Georgia Foundation, 15 Nov 2014 - 14:38, Tbilisi,Georgia

A change of regime in Russia could lead to a change of regimes in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, George Soros says.

Soros, a business magnate, philanthropist and founder of Open Society Foundations – a foundation that assists transitioning of post-communist countries – is on a two-day visit to Tbilisi.

Yesterday he met 250 students from five Georgian universities. The main topic of Soros’ meeting with the students was the future of Europe and its consequences for the world. While delivering a speech, he focused on the Russian policy in Ukraine and Georgia.

Students were interested in Soros’ opinion concerning Georgia's occupied territories. When asked if Georgia had a chance to regain its lost territories or not, Soros recalled ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili's governance and noted former US President George W. Bush made Saakashvili believe America would help him do this, but "obviously it did not happen”.

"If we talk about a military confrontation, obviously Georgia does not have resources to confront Russia. Such a mistake was once already made by Saakashvili,” Soros said.

"The President was at that time encouraged by President Bush. [Saakashvili] thought America would come and help but it did not happen. So I cannot see military solutions, however, a change of regime in Russia can lead to regime changes in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.”

Soros was scheduled to meet Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and President Giorgi Margvelashvili later today. He will also attend festive events marking the 20th anniversary of the Open Society Georgia Foundation.