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Georgian President: Russia Creates Destabilization Threat in Region

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, March 16
President Giorgi Margvelashvili believes that Russia creates a destabilization threat in the region with its occupation policy and actions towards Georgia.

Margvelashvili made the statement during the meeting with the United States Congress Speaker Paul Ryan, Congress majority leader Congressman Kevin McCarthy, and Congressman Ted Poe.

The president added that occupation of Georgia by Russia and recognition of Georgia's regions as independent states is a “historical anomaly and is unfair.”

According to him, Georgia was punished for making the decision to become independent.

“This sentence has a form of occupation. Georgian people will not betray their national identity,” he added.

According to the president's administration, the sides discussed Georgia's NATO integration process and talked about the upcoming NATO summit. The congressmen once again noted the importance of development of democratic reforms and bilateral relations between Georgia and the US.

Moreover, Margvelashvili also continued his meetings with the US senators. Regional developments and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations were the key issues discussed by the Georgian president and Senator Dick Durbin on March 15.

Margvelashvili said Georgia is striving to become a member of NATO and the EU to strengthen its European choice, which was made by Georgians many centuries ago.

Prior meeting Senator Durbin, Georgian President met Senator Orrin Hatch. The sides discussed preparation issues of upcoming NATO Summit and the death of a Georgian citizen, Archil Tatunashvili, on the territory of Russian-controlled occupied South Ossetia.

Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations and Russia’s occupation were the key issues Margvelashvili spoke in his interview with the US media outlet, Foreign Policy.

“It has been 16 years since we applied to NATO, and it’s the tenth year since NATO has given its promise to Georgia that it will become a NATO member. Georgia has basically done everything that was a requirement for our country…and also we have done everything on our side and contributed strongly to global security, while we don’t enjoy ourselves the benefits of global security. That’s where we are right now,” FP quoted Margvelashvili.

As for the current relationship with Moscow, Georgian President said this relationship is “stalled.”

“We hoped Moscow would start looking not from the perspective of tension and confrontation, but from a perspective of bringing a better future for the peoples that are living in Georgia, within the occupied parts of Georgia, [and] the peoples that are living in Russia. But we don’t think that sentiment would emerge within Russia’s highest circles. With President Putin’s re-election campaign, we see quite the opposite: the rhetoric of the Cold War,” he stressed.

Margvelashvili left for Washington on March 12 and since then has held a number of high-rank meetings with the US politicians, think-tanks and students.