President Margvelashvili: “Georgia will never accept annexation”

Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili on French television station France 24. Photo by the President’s press office., 26 Apr 2016 - 17:10, Tbilisi,Georgia

President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili believes normalising relations with Russia is a good idea but he says "Georgia will never accept annexation” of its two Russian-occupied territories.

Margvelashvili spoke about Georgia-Russia relations, his country’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations and the upcoming Parliamentary Elections in an exclusive interview with French television station France 24.

"We chose a very clear vision with respect to Russia. We said that we would negotiate with Russia and talk on a rational basis,” but he then went on to stress the fact "Georgian is occupied by Russia’s military”.
"They have created artificial states on our territory. This is unacceptable,” the Georgian President said.
"Georgia will never accept annexation or occupation and the attitude our neighboring, powerful nation has towards us.”

Talking about the upcoming parliamentary vote, Margvelashvili said about 60 percent of Georgians were still undecided who to vote for. Margvelashvili believed this was a huge number, which was a problem but believed the election campaign would inform citizens about the political parties operating in Georgia and their respective policies so they could make an informed decision who to vote for in October.

"Georgians are actually actively engaged in politics. People truly care about politics,” Margvelashvili said.
"Political parties have to be much more active and go out there and campaign. I will be active, advocating for people to get out and vote for anyone, any political party they want. But we must have active voters.”

Discussing the role of president in Georgia, Margvelashvili confirmed the president now had less executive power than before, but being free from having to make executive decisions meant the president could stay impartial and help democracy develop.

The interview also covered the upcoming NATO Summit in Warsaw and Georgia’s expectations for it.

"We are one of the most interoperable non-NATO forces. We stood with our NATO allies on battlefields. We have conducted all the reforms we were required. We are a developing a strong democracy,” Margvelashvili said.
"So if there are no positive moves in Warsaw, of course there will be some frustration. But will we change our historic choice towards the EU and NATO? No. This is a choice that doesn’t stand on some kind of concert cases,” the President said, adding Georgia’s pro-Western course was unconditional.

Watch the full interview here.