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Why Russia does not need to annex de-facto regions

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, June 17
The Prime Minister's official Envoy to Russia Zurab Abashidze stated that annexing Georgia’s de-facto regions is not in Russia’s interests.

This statement resulted in criticism from his opponents and NGOs.

Abashidze explains that the de-facto regions are important for Russia through the status they have now.

“The occupied regions are levers for Russia. If Russia annexes the regions and take final control of them, it will lose the lever it uses to influence Georgia and the international community,” Abashidze states.

“I believe that the Georgian Prime Minister thought the same when he said that Russia has no interest in annexing Georgia’s de-facto regions,” Abashidze added.

Meanwhile the situation remains unchanged and sometimes even worse in the occupied territories. During the election period, Russian soldiers intensified patrolling in the surrounding areas of the occupying line, and the families remained beyond the fences and were prohibited from voting.

European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule said that the talks are being held to ensure that people who live in Abkhazia and South Ossetia get all the benefits they require.

Fule made this statement during the meeting with Parliament Speaker Davit Usupashvili a couple of days ago.

"First of all, everything is done and will be done in order to strengthen our commitment to Georgia's territorial integrity. When the Association Agreement is signed, we want all people who live in Georgia to benefit from this agreement,” declared Fule.

He expressed his hope that Georgia will soon be moved to a new stage of relations with the EU. He stated that if the new stage will get Georgia closer to the EU, all Georgian citizens will be able to travel without visas. He mentioned that the new phase will be positively reflected on reintegration policy.