Monday, August 25, 2008

Refugees being forced to return to Gori, government "frivolous", says Georgian opposition

Грузинская оппозиция: беженцев возвращают в Гори насильно, а правительство Грузии "несерьезно"

The Georgian leadership does not appreciate the importance of the issue of the recognition of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by Russia with due seriousness, stated "New Rights" party leader David Gamkrelidze at a press conference. In Gamkrelidze's words, concrete steps which Georgia has not yet taken are necessary. Diplomatic ties should be severed with Russia and all other countries recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia; the peace-keeping mandate of the Russian army should be abolished; and the divisions of the Russian army which remain in the republic should be given the status of occupiers.

The leader of "New Rights" believes that Georgia should also press the UN to evaluate Russia's actions harshly and levy sanctions against Moscow. "Members of the G8 should revoke Russia's membership. The US should pressure Moscow, including by putting visa restrictions on its citizens. The EU should consider excluding Russia."

He noted that if Tbilisi fails to achieve these objectives, then any attempt to defend the territorial integrity of the country by diplomatic measures will fail. Gamkrelidze also noted that the Georgian leadership was forcibly returning refugees to Gori, without providing any security guarantees. "Those who wish to return to Gori shall, but the rest should stay where they are," noted the leader of "New Rights."

Some residents of Gori, afraid of being forcibly returned to the city, have fled to Armenia, and are seeking the services of accredited embassies in Yerevan to find refuge in a third state.

IA Regnum

No comments: