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Russian militarization process underway in Georgia’s occupied territories

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, April 21
The Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, commented on the recent visit of the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, to Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia, saying the Russian Foreign Minister “deliberately” visits the occupied territories where there is “a militarization process underway”.

Kvirikashvili made the statement while delivering a speech at the Fourth Caucasus Security Forum held in Tbilisi on April 20.

“20 percent of my country is occupied…in these turbulent times, Georgia remains an island of relative stability…this is an achievement that many countries cannot boast,” Kvirikashvili told the forum participants.

The PM underlined that the Georgian side tries to solve the conflicts peacefully.

“I would like to say that my vision is to solve our conflicts peacefully through the engagement of our strategic partners, such as the US, EU, NATO and of course based on the full respect of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders,” Kvirikashvili said.

The Georgian PM said that the government will continue its prudent, rational and consistent policy based on the national interests of Georgia.

“During the past 25 years, since Georgia regained its independence, we transformed our country into a democratic state. Georgian citizens have made their goal to join the EU and NATO,” he added.

Kvirikashvili also spoke about Georgia’s role in regional and global politics. He said that the Black Sea region should become a zone of economic cooperation.

“We are honored and excited to take part in regional as well as global projects that will benefit the entire world,” the PM said.

The Georgian PM also spoke about the New Silk Road project, which is the shortest route connecting the east and west, underlining its global importance.

He also mentioned the construction of Anaklia's deep sea port, and said the whole region would benefit from it.

“We are an opening window to the economies of central Asia and the Far East. Thanks to a liberal trade regime, low taxes, our strategic location and exceptional environment for doing business, Georgia has become a new regional frontier for investment opportunities,” he added.

The South Caucasus Security Forum has been the most prestigious foreign policy and security forum in the South Caucasus since 2013.

The forum gathers up to 450 decision and opinion makers from Europe, Eastern Partnership countries and the United States.

It has been a platform for open and lively discussion between decision-makers, business, academia, think-tank and media representatives from the South Caucasus as well as other countries and international organizations to discuss the most challenging issues related to the broader region.

The co-organizers of the forum are STRATPOL – Strategic Policy Institute – Bratislava, and the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies (GFSIS).