The messenger logo

Russia appoints new ‘ambassador’ to breakaway Tskhinvali

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, May 25
Kremlin has appointed a new ‘ambassador’ to Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia (Tskhinvali).

Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree about the appointment of Marat Kulakhmetov, a former Russian commander of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces (JPKF) in Tskhinvali, on May 23.

From now, Kulakhmetov will take the post of former envoy Elbrus Kargiev, and will serve as “the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of South Ossetia”.

The new envoy has been an advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation since 2011. In 2004-2008, he was a commander of the Combined Peacekeeping Forces in breakaway South Ossetia.

Georgia’s Foreign Minister, Mikheil Janelidze, says Kulakhmetov is a representative of the occupant state and no comment can be made on his appointment.

“We will continue working in all directions together with our partners in order to end the occupation and the occupants’ presence on the Georgian territory. We should restore our territorial integrity and sovereignty and have our societies united,” Janelidze stressed.

State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Viktor Dolidze says Kulakhmetov’s appointment on the new position is ‘cynical’.

“Kulakhmetov is an ordinary occupant, as well as other Russian soldiers stationed in Tskhinvali. His appointment can be seen as a cynical step, as he was sent back to South Ossetia after having served there some years ago,” Dolidze noted.

Georgia’s State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality, Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, says Kulakhmetov was directly involved in the developments of the Georgia-Russia war in 2008.

“The appointment of the new envoy is absolutely unacceptable for us as this step once again violates Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. This action has no legal dimension for us,” the minister stressed.