Tbilisi denounces actions by EU representative, hopes Brussels reacts “appropriately”

Reportedly, EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus congratulated Tskhinvali region’s de-facto president on taking the post. Photo from azernews.az
Agenda.ge, 17 May 2017 - 16:10, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister David Dondua says that what EU’s Special Representative Herbert Salber said yesterday is "unacceptable and incomprehensible”.

Dondua referred to reports according to which Salber, EU’s Special Representative for the South Caucasus and for the Crisis in Georgia and co-Chair of Geneva International Talks, met with de-facto leader of the breakaway Tskhinvali region Anatoly Bibilov yesterday and congratulated him on taking the "post”.

Breakaway Tskinvali held so-called elections last month where Bibilov was elected "president” but just like any other "elections” in Georgia’s Russian-occupied regions, this "election” too was not recognised by Georgia and the international community. Tkhinvali so-called "elections” are assessed as illegitimate and accordingly, its results have no legal power.

"What we have heard from the EU’s Special Representative and co-Chair of the Geneva Talks today is, to put it mildly, unacceptable and incomprehensible. It is against the principles of the international law and does not contribute to Georgia and international community’s attempts to settles the conflict peacefully”, Dondua said.
"We are in touch with EU authorities and we hope that this incident will be followed be a relevant reaction from Brussels”.

Dondua added that the EU’s position towards Georgia’s territorial integrity is firm and unchangeable.

"The EU was one of the first to react to [so-called elections in Tskhinvali region] and denounced Russia’s provocative actions on Georgia’s territory”, Dondua said.

Earlier today EU Ambassador to Georgia Janos Herman was summoned to the Foreign Ministry to give an explanation about Salber’s actions.

Herman met with Dondua at the Ministry and reconfirmed EU’s support for Georgia’s territorial integrity.

"I met with Mr. Deputy Foreign Minister about the recent meeting [between Salber and Bibilov] and I want to stress once again that the EU does not recognise the so-called elections held in the South Ossetia [another name for Tskhinvali region]”, Herman said following the meeting.

"What we do recognise is Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignity”, he added.