Saakashvili applauds EU resolution on Georgia

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili described a European parliament resolution on Georgia that dubs Russia an illegal military occupant as “historical.”


Russia and Europe-leaning Georgia broke off diplomatic relations after a five-day war in Georgia’s breakaway republic of South Ossetia in 2008. Moscow recognized the independence of South Ossetia and another self-proclaimed republic, Abkhazia. Georgia declared them occupied territories.


“The resolution is crucial in many aspects and plays an essential role in our struggle for Georgia’s unity, for its ultimate de-occupation, and for democratic and European future of our country,” Saakashvili said in a statement published on his official website. The Russian Foreign Ministry was not immediately available for comment.


Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia withdrew its military bases from Georgian territory. The last one was pulled out in November 2007.


“It is the first time that the most influential and representative body of Europe and the world has deemed Russia’s presence in Georgia as ‘illegal military occupation,’” Saakashvili said.


Following the war, Western countries as well as NATO criticized Russia for “disproportionate use force.” Terry Davis, head of the Council of Europe, said, however, that Russia and Georgia were equally responsible for the war and its humanitarian consequences.


In 2009, an international commission appointed by the EU to investigate the war and headed by Heidi Tagliavini, said that Tbilisi was responsible for causing the conflict but Moscow also escalated the war through its massive deployment of troops.


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