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Russian language must not be forgotten

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, April 13
President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili believes that the Russian language must not be ignored or forgotten in Georgia, as the language is a “very important lever” to communicate with people in Georgia’s currently occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) as well as with the Azeri and Armenian origin populations.

Margvelashvili stresses that for establishing connections, the Russian language is a “very comfortable tool”.

“We mustn’t lose this lever, no way. On the contrary, the language must be used more effectively to send important messages. If we leave Abkhazians, South Ossetians and ethnic minorities alone, face to face with very active Russian information propaganda, then how do we intend to reintegrate our occupied territories?” the President said.

The President highlighted that when one has the “power and the truth”, they must not ignore any avenue through which to spread the truth.

The active campaign against Russian as an enemy language started under the United National Movement leadership in the wake of the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.

Russian was neglected at schools, and the former government was actively engaged with the popularisation of the English language, as a symbol of Georgia’s striving to Europe.

The UNM's efforts provided results, and currently a greater part of the Georgia's younger generations do not speak Russian.

Language is a key lever for communication and people-to-people relations. The fact that one country’s government takes occupant steps to another it also doesn’t mean that the whole population of the country approves of the step.

Two hundred years of co-existence Georgia and Russia elaborated different types of common values. It was Russian language which opened doors for Georgian nationals into the outer world. Russian is a language for Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov and many other persons. Russian is a language of great Philosophical, cultural, historic importance. The English language should not substitute the Russian language. Georgians have to learn both languages; the country should free itself from the ill practice of putting Russian language under the Russo phobia.

In addition, Georgia is a multi-ethnic country, and many minorities know Russian far better than Georgian. In this way, the restoration of Russian studies is a worthwhile endeavour, and the language's prevalence in Georgia for two centuries has also made it part of the country's heritage.