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Georgian president urges western countries to do more to face up to Russia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, June 12
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili wants Western countries to do more to face up to Russia and the “very heavy pressure” she says Moscow exerts on Georgia as it pursues a “natural road” toward integrating with Europe, Zurabishvili said in an interview with the Associated Press in Geneva on Monday.

She stated that Georgia’s integration into NATO and the EU is inevitable.

“I do not have the plan of action that brings us there,” she said. “But I think that it is very clear that our road to NATO will end successfully — and to the European Union — in different manners, but in parallel ways.”

Zurabishvili stated that Georgia will also reintegrate its Russian-occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia), adding that the people living in the breakaway territories will see their future only with Georgia.

“Gradually, I think, the population in the occupied territories, are understanding that the perspective is not in the north,” Zurabishvili said.

Zurabishvili, 67, was in Geneva for the International Labor Organization’s centennial that opened Monday.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also was among about two dozen heads of state and government attending the event, the media reports.

Zurabishvili, the fifth president of Georgia who is the first female president for the country and in the region, was elected to the post in November 2018.

She was born in France, Paris, in a family of Georgian political emigrants.

Russia recognized Abkhazia and Tskhinvali as independent republics in the wake of the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.

The same step has only been taken by Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru, and Syria.

The rest of the international community confirms that the regions are occupied by Russia.