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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia


Statement of the Georgian Foreign Ministry in reaction to assertions made by the Russian president during a meeting with officers of the Russian 58th Army in Vladikavkaz

Speaking at a recent meeting with officers of the Russian 58th Army in Vladikavkaz, the Russian president expressed his satisfaction regarding the fact that the August 2008 war with Georgia thwarted NATO's plans to incorporate Georgia and other post-Soviet countries. Other Russian officials, at every level, have also increasingly been stating that it was their consideration of geopolitical factors - and particularly their aim to prevent NATO expansion - which stood behind their country's open military aggression against Georgia in August 2008. Some even went as far as trumpeting the fact that Georgia is 'not a member of NATO' as one of the greatest achievements of Russian foreign policy.

But there was never any doubt - even long before the Russian president's recent statement - about who and why Russia attacked Georgia in 2008. This statement, however, has at last made it absolutely clear that both the aggressive policy which Russia has pursued against the sovereign republic of Georgia since the 1990s and the war of August 2008 aimed to obstruct Georgia's integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures, to overthrow its democratically-elected authorities, and to hinder the process of its successful reform.At the same time, Russia is also trying to legalize its so-called "zone of privileged interests", to draw a line in the sand between itself and the democratic world and to demonstrate its irreconcilable position on this issue. Russia's authorities - steeped as they are in total corruption and totalitarianism - find a neighbouring Georgia based upon successful democracy and the rule of law both irritating and threatening, for Georgia's example makes it impossible for them to convince their own population of the need for the dismal state model they are touting.And this is precisely why the destruction of Georgian statehood remains one of Russia's foreign policy priorities. But what people like the Russian president do not seem to realize, however, is that they are as powerless to change the course of natural historical processes as they are to block the will of those nations which aspire to freedom. Georgia will never be prevented from pursuing its attempts to rebuild democracy and to successfully integrate the modern, civilized world.

Tbilisi, 22 November 2011


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