Georgian Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze has responded to Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, stating that if her words that ‘Russia takes Georgia as a sovereign country’ are not empty, ‘withdraw your troops from Georgian territory.’
Zakharova earlier spoke about the upcoming CoE ministerial in Tbilisi and the recent turmoil around the possible visit of Russian officials to Georgia during the event, stating that ‘visits of foreign officials must not be a problem for any sovereign state’.
She said that Russia takes Georgia as a sovereign country.
I want to respond to Mrs. Zakharova and the people she represents that if they really take Georgia as a sovereign country and the statement is not just empty words, first of all withdraw your troops from Georgian territories!” Talakvadze said.
Georgian Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze also stated in response that “indeed, Georgia is a sovereign country and everyone must respect [Georgia’s] laws.”
Georgia will host the CoE ministerial in May as the CoE chair country. Photo:cvce.eu.
Abashidze said that he does not know whether Russian FM Sergey Lavrov, who has violated the Georgian Law on the Occupied Territories several times, will chair the Russian delegation at the May 2020 event or not.
He said that Georgia is a CoE chair country and should act in line with its international obligations, through communication with its foreign partners.
The Georgian opposition strongly opposes Russia’s participation in the ministerial, stating that the delegation from the country is very likely to involve individuals who have violated the Georgian Law on the Occupied Territories by visiting the Russian-occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali without consent from official Tbilisi.
The opposition members warn that the arrival of the Russian delegation may spark a new wave of rallies in Tbilisi, similar to those in June 2019, when people took to the street to protest Russian MP’s action in the Georgian parliament building.