Georgian Reconciliation Minister in European Parliament: situation in Georgia’s occupied regions is severe

  •  Georgian Reconciliation Minister Ketevan Tsikhedlashvili has urged the EU to strengthen efforts against Russia’s illegal activities in Georgia. Photo: Ministry of Reconciliation press office., 22 Jan 2020 - 11:47, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Minister of Reconciliation and Civil Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili has delivered a speech in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament yesterday, speaking ‘on behalf of the Georgian people living in the Russian-occupied Akhalgori district, where the humanitarian situation is particularly severe due to the closure of the crossing point with the rest of Georgia,’ in September 2019.

I have used the high tribune to speak about all the challenges which are caused by the Russian-occupation of Georgian territories and unresolved conflicts. I spoke on behalf of the Akhalgori people whose condition is particularly severe as the occupation forces closed the only crossing point with the rest of Georgia and the people are in complete isolation, which causes direct threats to their life, health and is beyond any human standards,” Tsikhelashvili said.

She has also spoken about the erection of new barriers and installation by occupation forces in the villages of Chorchana and Gugutiantkari, on the Tbilisi-controlled territory over the past several months.

Minister Tsikhelashvili in European Parliament. Video by the Ministry of Reconciliation and Civil Equality. 

I have requested support [from the EU] to strengthen efforts against the illegality on the Georgian territory which also poses threats to European security,” Tsikhelashvili said.

Tsikhelashvili stated that the situation in Georgia’s Russian-controlled Abkhazia region particularly deteriorated since 2014, when already former de facto President Raul Khajimba came to power.

Now Khajimba had to step down [following the protests in Abkhazia region in January 2020]. The overall situation on the ground remains complicated. The current situation does not benefit the interests of any of us – [ethnic] Georgians, Abkhazians or Ossetians – we all suffer,” Tsikhelashvili said.

Tsikhelashvili stated that she has heard “supportive statements,” and that the MEPs ‘fully shared the desire” of the Georgian government to resolve conflicts peacefully.

Tsikhelashvili is scheduled to meet with NATO deputy secretary general and deliver a speech at the NATO-Georgia Commission meeting in Brussels later today.