Georgian President: We Should Send Clear Messages to Russia

At the opening of Tbilisi Strategic Discussions 2017, a conference dealing with the issues of national and regional security, the key issue raised by the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, was Georgia’s relationship with Russia and the impact of Russia’s actions on the South Caucasus region.

“We should consider Russia’s role in militarization of the region. Due to Russia's active involvement, our safety is gradually declining in terms of the Baltic, Black Sea and Central Asia. If we look at the Russian policies carried out over the years, we can see that theories based on a belief that Georgia or other countries of similar geopolitics can collaborate with Russia are groundless,” Margvelashvili told conference participants.

The President stated that the security situation in the region escalated further this year and terrorism has become an increasingly threat.

“This is an ideological war; propaganda that is very actively carried out by the Russian Federation and that has become very clear particularly this year," he added.

The President said that the West achieved success after the end of the Cold War not through a timid policy towards the Soviet Union, but through very specific military-economic development. This brought success to a free bloc of countries, as well as to those countries that later became NATO and EU members.

“If the international community and Georgia’s partners do not adequately realize Georgia’s role in the protection of Euro-Atlantic and European stability and if they do not realize that Georgia's involvement in these structures determines the stabilization of European security, it will be equal to ignoring reality,” Margvelashvili noted.

He also spoke about Georgia’s achievements of 2017 in terms of European and Euro-Atlantic integration. As he pointed out, the visits of Mike Pence, John McCain and US senators, as well as the NATO Military Committee Session being held in Georgia, highlight the strong support that Georgia receives from its American partners.

He also stressed that the decisions made in the US Congress, Bundestag and Council of Europe show support for Georgia’s European aspirations.

"We should be honest and send clear messages to Russia and our partners. This sincerity and boldness will bring stability and solutions to important issues,” he added.

The Tbilisi Strategic Discussions aims to offer to the representatives of the defense sector an inclusive format through which, as a result of professional discussions, priorities and challenges are identified with regard to the country’s policy of regional security.

The December 4-5 conference was attended by around 100 guests from the Government and Parliament of Georgia, diplomatic corps accredited to Georgia and Georgian and international experts in defense and national security issues.

Thea Morrison

07 December 2017 19:13