‘Cold dead hands’: Gun control in Georgia | Behind The Story
Unlike the US State Department, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s press release did not mention Georgia among the topics discussed by Blinken and Lavrov.
Georgia occupies an important place on the agenda of strategic partners, as evidenced by the conversation between US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. This is how Tbilisi reacted to the State Department’s message that on February 4, in his first telephone conversation with the Russian Foreign Minister, Blinken, among a number of problems, also raised the topic of Russian military aggression in Ukraine and Georgia. It is noteworthy that in the message of the Russian Foreign Ministry regarding this conversation, Georgia is not mentioned, although it is said that the situation in Ukraine was discussed.
“When Georgia is on the agenda of the US Secretary of State’s conversation with the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, this is an important fact … We use every opportunity to ensure that the challenges we face are presented on the international agenda,” she said Mariam Bochorishvili, Head of the Parliamentary Committee for European Integration.
At the same time, the head of the parliamentary committee on foreign relations Nikoloz Samkharadze, in his commentary, noted that Georgia is extremely interested in further deepening relations with the United States, in particular, in the even more active participation of the United States in ensuring the security of the Black Sea region..
Assessment of the opposition
The Georgian opposition believes that under the new US administration, Georgia will have more opportunities to promote issues that are painful for the country in the international arena.
“President Biden said that the US’s priority should be to counter Russia’s aggressive actions. Accordingly, the strategic importance of Ukraine and Georgia will grow in the policy of the new administration. This is a unique opportunity for our country, and not only in terms of activating the topic of Russian occupation on the international agenda, but also for the restoration of democratic processes in our country, ”- declared in the party of ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili “United National Movement”.
The opposition “Strategy of Agmashenebeli” draws attention to the fact that in the message of the Russian Foreign Ministry about the conversation between Blinken and Lavrov, the topic of Georgia was omitted.
“The expectations that exist in Georgia regarding the Biden administration are most likely justified. The fact that Russia does not mention the topic of Georgia in its message indicates Moscow’s dissatisfaction with the new reality, i.e. the role of Georgia in the agenda of the new administration “, – said the former deputy head of the Security Council, now an opposition deputy Teona Acubardia.
Over the past thirty years, most often for support from the international community, and primarily from the United States, Georgia has turned to in connection with the Russian occupation of part of its territory..
Today the Georgian Foreign Ministry issued a statement in connection with the next verdict of the Tskhinvali court in relation to the illegal imprisonment of the ethnic Georgian Zaza Gakheladze, who was sentenced on February 5 to 12 years and 6 months in prison. He was found guilty on two charges – article 317 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (encroachment on the life of a law enforcement officer) and article 322 (illegal crossing of the state border).
“This illegal decision is a real expression of the destructive plans of the Russian Federation to create destabilization in Georgia, despite the fact that Moscow continues to make declarative statements about the desire to continue dialogue and cooperation … Georgia will use all diplomatic and legal levers at its disposal and raise this a question at the highest level – in all relevant international formats, in order to stop illegal abductions of people around the so-called. lines of occupation and gross violations of fundamental rights and freedoms “, – stated in the Georgian Foreign Ministry.
In turn, the head of the Georgian Foreign Ministry David Zalkaliani tweeted that he calls on the international community to support Tbilisi and take a firm position on the immediate release of Gakheladze from illegal imprisonment..
Last July, a 33-year-old resident of the Georgian village, Zaza Gakheladze, went with a friend to pick mushrooms in the forest near the dividing line. As a result, according to the information of the person accompanying him, who managed to escape, the Russian military opened fire from firearms, wounded Gakheladze in the leg, and then took him to the occupied territory..
At the same time, in a message spread by the separatist KGB, Gakheladze was the first to open fire, although his family denies this, claiming that he had no firearms with him at all..
The US Embassy in Georgia and the Department of State condemned the incident involving the use of weapons and the detention of a Georgian citizen by Russian-controlled forces, and called on Moscow for his immediate release..
Detentions of people for violating the so-called “border” are commonplace in the conflict zone, although they are usually released after they admit their “guilt” and pay a corresponding fine. According to statistics, most of them violate the “border” not for the first time, since these people use pastures, have land, etc. on the territory that, as a result of the Russian occupation, was outside the control of Tbilisi.
Let us recall that as a result of the Russian-Georgian war, Russia in 2008 recognized the independence of two Georgian regions – Abkhazia and South Ossetia – and transferred additional troops and weapons to its military bases in these territories. All states of the world – with the exception of Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria – recognize these regions as the territory of Georgia occupied by Russia.