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PM Calls on Russia to Withdraw Its Forces from Georgia’s Occupied Regions

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, August 10
The Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze has called on the Russian Federation to fulfill its obligations under the 12 August, ceasefire agreement and withdraw its forces from the territories of Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

“Russia is an aggressor; it has occupied our territories. It has undertaken the responsibility for a ceasefire. I call on Russia to withdraw its military units from Georgia. It will be the correct signal to start normalization of relations,” the PM stated at the special press conference on Thursday.

The PM remembered August 8, 2008, when Russia carried out the military aggression against Georgia and occupied 20% of the territories.

“Russian aggression, the occupation of the territories of our country and displaced tens of thousand. These days once again showed us that the path chosen by Georgia is challenging but at the same time they showed that we will achieve our goal,” the PM said referring to Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

Bakhtadze said that the previous government could not prevent implementation of Russia's scenario in Georgia in 2008.

“My personal opinion on this issue is that Russia is an aggressor, it has occupied our territories and this is clear. Moreover, it did it not only in 2008; in the early 90s, Russia was carrying out the actual annexation of Georgian territories,” he stated.

However, the PM underlined that Georgia’s response to Russian aggression and challenge is peace, development of a stable state, development of European institutions of European quality and philosophy.

"We are pursuing a pragmatic policy towards Russia with a de-escalation policy that aims to implement our programs in our area, including the support of the population living in the occupied territories, which will allow us to resolve the conflict regulation peacefully,” he stated.

Bakhtadze added that Georgia, as a sovereign state has the right to choose its direction.

“Our sovereign choice is European and Euro-Atlantic integration. This is not just a choice of a particular team. It is a choice of the Georgian population,” he stated.