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Diplomatic relations cannot be restored

By Messenger Staff
Monday, March 25
On March 23, official representative of Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexander Lukashevich, said Russia is ready to establish a visa-free regime with Georgia and restore diplomatic relations. However, the Russian official “forgot” to mention one essential issue before the restoration of diplomatic relations. The Russian Federation should de-occupy Georgian sovereign land and recognize its neighbor’s territorial integrity.

The arrogance of Russian diplomacy has no boundaries. In his statement, Lukashevich mentioned that Russia is ready to establish a visa-free regime with Georgia on the basis of mutual respect. He stressed that for this, Georgia should render legislative conditions for ensuring the safety and security of Russian citizens in Georgia.

Russian citizens were granted visa-free travel by Georgia’s previous government, although Russian officials tried to discourage Russian citizens from using this privilege by warning about the possible dangers to Russian citizens in Georgia. There was also the possibility that the Georgian government would apply one of the acts from the Law on Occupied Territories which would consider a criminal offense, any citizen entering occupied territories from any side other than the Georgian side. However, the current administration has changed this paragraph which now says that during the first violation a person must pay only a penalty.

Georgia sincerely wishes to establish neighborly relations with Russia. However, Moscow has to de-occupy Georgian territories and ensure equality between the two sovereign states. Thus, under the current situation, the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries seems impossible.

The situation is further complicated by the entire official position of the Kremlin, which considers that Georgia should agree with the new reality and recognize the occupation of its territories by its northern neighbor.

The Kremlin is openly promoting these ideas. President Vladimir Putin demonstratively met with the de facto leaders of the Tskhinvali and Sokhumi regimes. The Kremlin reinforces the administrative border between Georgia and its breakaway regions calling it an official state border. However, it should also be mentioned that although the majority of Georgian political forces support the idea of the non-reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Russia until it de-occupies Georgian territories, some movements have been started within the Georgian political spectrum which claim to openly represent their pro-Russian sympathies and label themselves as pro-Russian politicians.

Maybe Moscow hopes to rely on these forces. However, any Georgian administration will have problems in leading the country into that direction.