Government’s non-recognition policy for occupied territories “consistent, irreversible” - ruling party head

Irakli Kobakhidze, the Chair of the ruling Georgian Dream party, on Thursday commented on the latest statement by the Russian deputy FM. Photo: Georgian Dream press office, 23 Mar 2023 - 16:31, Tbilisi,Georgia

Irakli Kobakhidze, the Chair of the ruling Georgian Dream party, on Thursday said the Government's non-recognition policy towards the country’s Russian-occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) regions was “consistent” and would not be revised, after the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin said the conflicts in Georgia could be resolved if Tbilisi pledged “non-use of force” against the de facto authorities and launched “delimitation of borders” with them.

Galuzin voiced the “principled position” of the Russian Government to representatives of the European Union, United Nations and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe earlier this week, with his comments reported by the Russian media.

Kobakhidze responded by saying there were “no borders” between the occupied regions and the Georgian-controlled territory, and stressed the policy of the Georgian Dream authorities towards the occupied regions had been “effective” and “consistent” over the years and would not be revised.

He also commented on the possible resumption of direct flights between Russia and Georgia and said the decision was “completely up to the Russian authorities”, adding the flights were suspended in July 2019 by the Russian President’s “unilateral decision”. He however said resumption of flights would benefit Georgian citizens living in Russia.

Russia suspended direct flights with Georgia following mass protests in Tbilisi in June 2019 that were sparked by the presence of Russian lawmakers in the Georgian Parliament during an international religious conference.