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PM Garibashvili discusses Russian occupation at Crimean Platform Summit

By Khatia Bzhalava
Tuesday, August 24
Within the framework of the official visit to Ukraine, the Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili participated in the first Crimean Platform Summit on Monday, which hosted delegates from over 40 countries. The Summit was also attended by Georgian Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani and Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze.

Garibashvili addressed the Summit attendees, highlighting that the platform is ‘an opportunity’ to speak out about the ‘atrocities’ of occupying forces. “We must remind the world that Crimea is Ukraine," stated Garibashvili in his speech.

Georgian Prime Minister praised the relationship between Georgia and Ukraine, stressing that the two countries have always stood by each other’s sides during tough times. According to him, Ukrainians fought alongside Georgians in the 1990s during the armed clash ‘inspired and participated by Russia’. As he noted, Leonid Tkachuk, whose remains have been handed over to his family by the Georgian Government, is a symbol of Ukrainians who bravely fought and fell for the independence of Georgia.

“Ukraine and Georgia have a long history of friendship standing shoulder-to-shoulder in times of peace and war. Our will to fight for freedom against the common enemy and our pursuit for democracy has always made us stronger against any other force that has attempted to disrupt our unity,” He said.

As the Prime Minister mentioned in his speech, thirteen years ago the Russian Federation launched a large-scale military attack against Georgia, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and militaries, dozens of Georgian villages being burnt and destroyed, and the occupation of two Georgian regions by Russia. “ Later in 2014 Ukraine shared the same fate, ” Garibashvili noted.

As the PM said, Russia's policy is aimed at undermining the peace processes and destabilizing the security situation on the ground, thus, disregarding its international commitments, including the EU mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire agreement.

Stating that Georgia is committed to peaceful conflict-resolution, Garibashvili expressed hope that the Crimean Platform would have a far-reaching impact against existent challenges in the Black Sea region.

Within the framework of the summit, Garibashvili has been awarded an Order of First Degree for Merit by Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine.