Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, who is visiting Ukraine on August 21-23, addressed the inaugural summit of the Crimea Platform, a Ukrainian diplomatic initiative aimed at strengthening international coordination efforts against Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea.
“Creation of the Crimean Platform is a window of opportunity to speak out of the atrocities that the occupation forces have been committing against our people. And we must remind the world that Crimea is Ukraine,” the PM noted in his opening remarks.
Stressing “a long history of friendship” between Georgia and Ukraine, PM Garibashvili said that Ukrainians fought alongside Georgians “during the armed hostilities inspired and participated by Russia back in the 1990s.”
“Thirteen years ago the Russian Federation launched a large scale military attack against Georgia,” the Georgian PM went on talking about the consequences of the August 2008 Russo-Georgian war, noting that the war “shattered the entire European security and the rules-based international order,” and Ukraine shared the same fate in 2014.
Speaking about Russia’s “deliberate” policies directed at “undermining the peace processes” and “destabilizing the security situation on the ground,” the Prime Minister said “the West is bound to come face-to-face with ever-increasing sources of destabilization” without resolving the conflicts in the region.
He stressed Georgia’s commitments to peaceful resolution of conflicts, while also “pursuing unequivocal consolidation of democratic reforms, sustainable economic development, along with the European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.”
“In this light, we hope that Crimean Platform will become an important stage supported by our international partners which will have a far-reaching impact against existent challenges in the Black Sea region,” the PM concluded.
The inaugural event of the platform taking place on August 23 is attended by leaders and representatives of more than 40 nations and international organizations. PM Garibashvili was also among a dozen leaders whom the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy awarded an Order of First Degree for Merit as part of the summit.
The participants of the summit adopted a joint declaration, establishing the International Crimea Platform aiming at peaceful de-occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol and committing, among others, to continued non-recognition policy of its illegal annexation, possible employment of further political, diplomatic and restrictive measures towards Russia, and protection of human rights in the peninsula.
In the joint declaration, the participants also condemned continued violations of human rights and international law in Crimea, as well as continued militarization and change of the demographic structure in the occupied territory.