MUNICH, February 2 (RIA Novosti) - The ongoing occupation of Georgian territory by Russia is an impediment to full-fledged diplomatic ties between the two countries, as well as a threat to national and European security, Georgian Foreign Minister Maya Pandzhikidze said on Saturday.
Improvement of relations with Russia is a key priority of Georgia’s new government, she told a security conference in Munich, adding, however, that full reconciliation is impossible without resolving the “occupation” issue.
“We have made concrete steps. For example, we have established direct communication links with Russia. However, these steps will not substitute for the main negotiating process within the framework of the Geneva Conference,” she said.
“It needs to be understood that we will not be able to achieve full conciliation, full restoration of diplomatic relations if a part of Georgia remains occupied by Russian troops.”
“Maintenance of the status quo, i.e., the occupation of 20 percent of our country’s territory by Russia, is a serious threat to the security of Georgia, as well as European security,” Pandzhikidze said.
She reiterated the Georgian government’s commitment to expanding its cooperation with NATO and the EU.
Georgia broke off diplomatic relations with Russia after their August 2008 war over South Ossetia. Georgia lost one-fifth of its territory after South Ossetia and another republic, Abkhazia, broke away.
Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, whose Georgian Dream coalition won the October parliamentary election, said in November that Tbilisi is restarting its ties with Moscow “from a clean slate” but that restoration of diplomatic relations will be linked to the issue of Georgia’s territorial integrity.
Moscow, however, keeps ruling out any negotiations on the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Russia recognized as independent states.
Updated to correct reference to 2008 war.
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- Michael JohnathenSorry01:29, 03/02/2013But neither country is apart of country historically, each had their own kingdoms, if Georgia had the right to declare independence from Russia in the 90's, they did too.
- jgGeorgia not in NATO, not in the EU.05:26, 03/02/2013The member states of NATO and those of the EU have no interest in being drawn into any dispute with Russia on behalf of Georgia. The Bush administration which helped Sakashvilli into power and gave Georgia lots of military hardware is gone.
- rochefortfrancoisbla bla bla...05:27, 03/02/2013The lady must be drunk or under effect of drugs. Russia has only protected both its citizens and south ossetians from a lethal Georgian aggression and has since reconised South Ossetia as an independant state the same way NATO did with some countries in the past 20 years.
- ruypenalvaWhy not get the 80% left?05:28, 03/02/2013I think Russia should conquest the 80% territory left with these crazies baboons.
- moistThis "occupied by Russia" has spread far out...15:44, 03/02/2013...of the sick tie-eating minds of the Georgian despot-fuhrer Saakaswahili. The zionazi gate-keepers at "Wikipedia" has pulled the same stunt.Sickening.
Then again, had Russia not give the NATO & israeli war machine a bloody noose there in 2008, these de facto free and sovereign people would have been exterminated by now.
- moistand if they try somesthing stupid again...15:54, 03/02/2013...i suggest we drag Saakaswahili´s sorry *ss to a real and independent tribunal for crimes against humanity (not crimes against the anglo-american NWO in former nazi interrogation centres as now (Haag))
- Wolfgang9What does this woman think she and Georgia is18:39, 03/02/2013to the rest of the world??
Does she really think the US would risk WW3 for Georgia's madeup interest? If something becomes rotten, it usually starts in the head.
- mishkaPerhaps it s exactly their aim.04:16, 04/02/2013Dear Wolfgang9 why do you think America can not dare a war with Russia? Time acts adversely to them.
Now or never.
Russia is on the way with a record breaking giant re armement program and reorganisation and modernization program in the army till 2020. It will be significantly invincible then. On the contrary the USA looses blood at every aspects. They are in hurry with the missile defence system.
Tie eating mikro dictator is just a puppet. I believe Georgia receives orders beyond the Atlantic as well as all other American allies in the region like Israel, Turkey and Azerbaijan.
- mishkaAre we talking about occupations?04:23, 04/02/2013I wonder very much what does this fish looking lady think about USrael has done. In Gazza, Iraq, Afghanistan etc. And recently French troops in Mali for gold?
- Mikhail1228Georgia is just a pawn!22:48, 08/03/2013Georgia is a pimple on Russia's backside. Abkhazia and South Ossetia will never go back to Georgia and this woman is insane to think they ever would. Georgia is a micro country that is a pawn in the east west battle with Russia over spheres of interest. Russia should have gone all the way to Tbilisi and captured Shaakashvili. He is a buffoon and a pawn of the US.
The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.