Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs David Zalkaliani called on the Russian Federation to respect the norms of international law and the principle of Georgia's territorial integrity.
Georgian FM: Russia Must Respect Norms of International Law
By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, July 20
Zalkaliani made the statement in response to Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, who stated earlier that Tbilisi-initiated Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list, as well as the tragic events, has nothing to do with Russia.
Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list 33 contains persons convicted or charged with grave crimes committed against the citizens of Georgia in the breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions since the 1990s.
“The Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list, as well as the tragic events, has nothing to do with Russia, so this list will have no impact on Russian-Georgian relations. In our opinion, this decision is confrontational and provocative, "Zakharova said in an interview with Georgia’s Rustavi 2 TV.
While commenting on the issue, Zalkaliani stressed Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are the red lines, and everyone, including the Russian Federation, must respect the norms of international law and the principle of Georgia's territorial integrity.
The minister underlined that Georgian government has made many constructive steps aimed at de-escalation despite occupation of Georgian territories but there has not been any progress in terms of regulating political relations with Russia.
“We still continue putting forward the peace initiatives that are supportive to politically regulate the conflict,” Zalkaliani said.
He reminded peace initiative of the Georgian Government called ‘Step Towards a Better Future’ launched in April 2018, which implies legislative changes for improving the humanitarian, social and economic conditions of the populations in Georgia’s Russian-occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.
The initiative offers locals living in conflict zones access to the benefits available in Georgia resulting from the country's development, including European integration, visa waiver, free trade rights, and others, including the opportunities of better education and healthcare.