There is another challenge related to mass migration from Russia. A challenge, which to some extent is an opportunity, because it shows us once again what Georgian tolerance and hospitality mean, but hospitality should not be stupid, said President Salome Zurabishvili at the pre-New Year’s reception held for representatives of the diplomatic corps in the Orbeliani Palace.
Salome Zurabishvili noted that it is permissible for the border to be opened especially for those citizens of Russia who are of Georgian origin, but at the same time, there should be correct legislation, relevant regulations in order to “avoid unwanted intentions” in the future.
Salome Zurabishvili emphasized that Russia’s occupation of Georgia is a big challenge at the evening of reception of diplomats. In addition, according to the President, Russia is constantly trying to impose its will on its neighbors.
“Some groups may think that the criticism should be directed at our Western partners and not at the occupier, but the occupation remains the main challenge. it is so! The occupation of Georgian territories by Russian forces is a huge challenge. Our citizens live on both sides of the occupation line. These are citizens who live in Abkhazia. They have to live with these challenges regarding their own language and identity. They are the victims of this mobilization and also have to bear the threats. They tell them that Georgia can use this situation to its advantage. Of course, this is not the case, and it does not happen by recapturing territories. This is the approach of other people.
There is also another challenge related to mass migration from Russia. A challenge that is somewhat an opportunity, because it shows us once again what Georgian tolerance, Georgian hospitality means, but hospitality should not be stupid. We have a duty to our own population to fully control what is happening. Yes, let’s have open borders, especially for those Russian citizens who are of Georgian origin, but at the same time, we must realize that we should the right legislation, appropriate regulations in order to avoid unwanted intentions in the future,” stated Zurabishvili.
She went on to say that there are big challenges from Russia not only for Georgia, but also for the whole of Europe and the rest of the world.
She noted that when the time comes for negotiations with Russia, “it should be clear that occupation is no longer acceptable on the European continent.”
“Of course, the time for negotiations will come, and it will be in the hands of the Ukrainian people only. When that time comes, if we want to avoid a repeat of the scenarios of 1992, 2008, 2014, 2022 and many other aggressions committed against our neighbors by Russia, it must be clear that occupation is no longer acceptable on the European continent. Those who really want real peace and negotiations should first of all recognize this and then talk about these issues,” the president said.