Georgian Parliament Speaker names Russia as regional threat at Viennese Diplomatic Academy

Georgian Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze stated that crimes committed by occupying forces in Georgia remain unpunished. Photo: Parliament of Georgia press office., 27 Feb 2019 - 12:35, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze has named Russia as a regional threat in his speech at the Viennese Diplomatic Academy in Austria yesterday.

Increased militarisation of the two occupied regions of Georgia Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) by Russia poses significant risks not only to our security but also to regional peace and stability,” Kobakhidze said.

He stated that the Georgian government is not only concerned with the question of sovereignty and security, but also of humanitarian and human rights situation in the regions.

Children are deprived of the right to be educated in their native language, and freedom of movement is severely restricted. To this date, over 300,000 thousand people are internally displaced from the occupied territories, and their rights to return to their homes are continuously and extensively violated by Russia’s illegal activities,” Kobakhidze said.

He said that Russia’s “explicit and implicit approval of human rights violations” has caused the tragic deaths of Georgian citizens, including the tragic incident with Archil Tatunashvili in Tskhinvali prison, “which goes unpunished and only contributes to the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in the occupied regions of Georgia.”

We call on all parties involved to remove any obstacles to the objective investigation of all crimes against peaceful Georgian citizens,” Kobakhidze said.

He stated that despite security challenges and occupation, Georgia is “on the right track.”

Now more than ever, Georgia as a state is better equipped to deal with external and internal challenges. Our economy is growing, our state institutions are getting stronger, and Georgians’ confidence in government and pro-Western policies remains remarkably high,” he said.

Kobakhidze stated that a few years ago, Georgia’s integration with the European Union seemed like an impossible dream.

However, we have already signed an Association Agreement with the EU, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area deal, and for a couple of years now our citizens enjoy visa-free travel to the EU,” he said.

Kobakhidze thanked the country’s foreign allies for their continued support for Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration.