Former MEP to Organize Speech of De Facto South Ossetian President in Brussels

Former Member of the European Parliament, Italian journalist and lecturer Giulietto Chiessa, plans to invite de facto South Ossetian ‘president’ Anatoly Bibilov to Brussels to deliver a speech and report on the so called Republic’s history and people.

Chiessa announced the fact after arriving in Georgia’s Russian-backed breakaway region of South Ossetia with other members of an Italian delegation to hold an event in memory of last year’s Amatrice earthquake victims.

He said he recognizes it will be difficult to implement his plans but that South Ossetia’s cultural representatives will visit Italy this autumn.

“It will be a scandalous, fundamental event. Several MEPs are ready to back us…We will form a group of MEPs that will invite the president or foreign minister of South Ossetia,” he stated.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Georgia announced they are sure that private individuals affiliated with Russia will not be able to use the platform of international organizations for their narrow political goals and will not be able to spread propaganda of occupational regimes in such formats.

“The European Parliament and its members firmly support Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty,” the Georgian MFA stated.

The Ambassador of the United States to Georgia Ian Kelly also commented on the issue, adding only few countries recognize the independence of South Ossetia and none of them are in the EU or near Europe.

“Neither the US nor any member of the EU recognizes the independence of South Ossetia. In fact, you can count on one hand how many countries recognize the independence of South Ossetia and none of them are in the EU or near Europe. Obviously, such a visit would have to be entirely unofficial and would not have any kind of importance,” the Ambassador said.

Co-chairperson of the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee Sajjad Karim said that no delivery of speech by the de facto South Ossetian President is planned in the European Parliament.

He underlined that the European Parliament supports Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty.

“At this stage, I can only tell you that the power of the European Parliament belongs to its members and not to former members. We do not have any information about the intentions of the mentioned Member of the European Parliament. It may sound a bit rude, but former MEPs are former MEPs probably because they deserve it. Such behavior should not be encouraged," Karim stated.

Russia recognized Georgia’s two breakaway regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as independent states in August, after the 2008 war between Georgia and Russia.

Thea Morrison

21 September 2017 19:39