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Georgia offers Abkhazia protection from "Russian occupation"2012-12-19 11:55
New Georgian Minister for Reintegration Paata Zakareishvili stated that Georgia's position on refusing to recognize the independence of the breakaway regions (Abkhazia and South Ossetia) ostensibly met the interest of Abkhazians and Ossetians themselves, the Lenta.ru reports.gt-en-newsitem-inside
"In my opinion, the worst option for the Abkhazians and Ossetians - is Georgia's recognition of their independence. Thus we completely hand over them to Russia", says Zakareishvili. "These areas are located at the border with Russia, so Russia is laying its hands on them".
Zakareishvili called the non-recognition of the republics' independence by Georgia the only guarantee of any prospects for them in the future. "This is a guaranteed prospect for them against the total Russian expansion, the ability to rely on something else, than to be completely under the influence of Russia".
Speaking of Abkhazia, the Georgian Minister acknowledged that the economic situation in the country receiving the aid from Russia was improving every year. However, according to him, the development of Abkhazia and South Ossetia can be ensured by Georgia, not by Russia.
Meanwhile, according to the Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, Georgian leadership must take the first step in order to improve relations with Russia.
"We are ready to a dialogue, cooperation, but we should focus not only on the statements, but also on the actual steps of the Georgian leadership, which they should do first. Unfortunately, they still do not say that they won't use force against Abkhazia and South Ossetia - independent states, recognized by Russia", Patrushev said.