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Lithuania Changes Georgia’s Name in Its language

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, May 7
(VILNIUS) - The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry has stated that the country made a “historic decision” and changed Georgia’s name in its language.

From now on, the official title of Georgia will be Sakartvelo, as Georgians pronounce it and not Gruzija, as Russians do.

The decision marked the 100th anniversary of the First Republic of Georgia, which existed only for three years, before Soviet Russia invaded the country.

The speaker of the Lithuanian parliament Viktoras Pranckietis said Lithuania's official name for the Caucasus nation will be changed by 2018 as a "great gift" from Vilnius to the Georgian people, the website BaltNews reported.

"Georgians do not like the word 'Gruzia,'" Pranckietis said. "They prefer their country to be called 'Sakartvelo,'" he said, a word that means "a place for Kartvelians," or Georgians.

Lithuanian government is one of the most vocal supporters of Georgian interests.

The country leadership frequently makes the statements supporting Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, condemning Russia’s actions on the Georgian territory.

“Georgia is the main trade partner for Lithuania in the South Caucasus region, Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said after his meeting with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili during his official visit to Georgia in January 2018.

“Georgia deserves to be called the leader of the Eastern Partnership (EaP)... We congratulate Georgia on the steps it has made towards Euro-integration and we are also glad that Georgia appreciates our support”, Skvernelis said.

South Korea became the first country that switched to ‘Georgia’ from ‘Gruzia’.