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Thursday, 20 September 2018


The Congress of Georgians: let us love each other

2009-02-05 14:49

She pronounced in a trembling voice: "I am Georgian who was born in Abkhazia. My mother's tomb is there. But I was married in Russia and had a baby. Who can force me to choose between mother and son? How shall I divide these countries?"

Official Tbilisi had no grounds to believe that Georgia-related political issues were discussed at the Congress (or God forbid - any decisions taken!). No, these were human and touching stories of the delegates and guests about their concerns. What makes the hearts of those who were born and used to live in Georgia ache, for whom this country will always be Motherland.


An especially sensitive issue on lack of transport communication between the two countries was discussed as well as visa provision required for legal stay of Georgian refugees who had left Abkhazia in Russia. These people lost their homes at the time of the war in 1992 and cannot go back. They have no opportunity to make a living in Georgia. So after the breakdown of diplomatic relations between Moscow and Tbilisi two thousand refugees have no chance to live and work in Russia legally.

Here are the words of a Sochi delegate: "I live close to Abkhazia. I constantly face discrimination. There are no visas. No traffic way. Please solve the problem!"

The leader of Yaroslavsky division of the Union of Georgians Roman Bakradze complained that it was quite difficult for Georgians to obtain legal status in Russia. For almost a year it has been practically impossible to get any document from Tbilisi -from a copy of a birth certificate to a military ID. How is life in Russia possible considering all that? And now going to Georgia is an expensive and problematic undertaking: there is no direct transport communication between the countries.

All of a sudden one of the participants called for Mikheil Saakashvili's resignation. There came an annoyed buzz in the hall.

Khubutia immediately reacted: "No politics!" Yes, he kept his word promising his compatriots to be within the range of humanitarian issues and restrain from politicizing.

The congress resulted in adoption of an address to Russia's president Dmitry Medvedev. The Georgian Diaspora representatives asked him to resume air communication and issuance of visas at least for the refugees. They also asked to raise ban on import of Georgian wines, Borjomi mineral water and agricultural products to Russia.

After the end of the congress the president of the Union of Georgians Milhail Khubutia pointed out answering the questions of Georgiatimes observer:

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