Georgian PM: "Russia increasing isolation of Georgia’s occupied territories”

Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili says progress has been made in the investigation of the leak of private videos on the internet. Photo by the Prime Minister’s webpage., 08 Feb 2017 - 14:14, Tbilisi,Georgia

The proposed name change for Georgia’s breakaway Tskhinvali region once again exposes Russia’s intentions of incorporating Georgia's breakaway regions, says Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

Kvirikashvili has issued a statement in reaction to Tskhinvali de facto authorities’ recent initiative to change Tskhinvali region’s name to ‘the Republic of South Ossetia – the State of Alania”, which will sound just like North Ossetia-Alania, which is a federal subject of Russia.

"In spite of Georgia's peaceful policy and efforts to seek reconciliation and confidence building between the populations divided by the occupation lines, the Russian Federation, unfortunately, continues to take steps towards the increased isolation and annexation of Georgia's occupied territories”, Kvirikashvili said.

"This is evidenced by the recent decision to hold a referendum on re-naming Tskhinvali region [to mimic the name of a similar] subject of the Russian Federation, which once again exposes the true intentions of the occupying power to incorporate Georgia's integral regions”.

The Georgian Prime Minister noted that according to international law, it is unlawful and unacceptable to hold a referendum in a region "from which tens of thousands of residents have been expelled as a result of ethnic cleansing”, and where effective control is exercised by an occupying power.

"I urge the international community to join forces and stand up to the Russian Federation's provocative actions, to prevent violations of the territorial integrity of sovereign states and the imposition of practice of unlawful annexation, which undermines the region's stability and the international system stemming from democratic values”, the PM’s statement read.