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Russian MFA Spox on Georgia’s Sovereignty, Abkhazia, Geneva Talks

During online consultations with the Abkhaz “foreign ministry,” attended by the region’s top diplomat Inal Ardzinba and Sokhumi-based reporters, Russian Foreign Ministry (MID) spokesperson Maria Zakharova touched upon Georgia’s sovereignty, Geneva International Discussions, as well as her memories from Abkhazia.  

On Georgia’s Sovereignty

Maria Zakharova said, “we treat Georgia as a sovereign state, which has also gone through a very difficult and complicated path.”

Zakharova blamed the West for bringing “the destructive ideology” into Georgia and for interfering with its domestic affairs. “The West not only interfered in the affairs of this country but tried to mold Georgia and the whole region’s development according to its own scenario,” MFA spokesperson claimed.

But fast-forwarding to the present days, she mentioned that Georgia is “forming its own sovereign policy,” distinct from the Western impositions.

She said the will to pursue such “true sovereignty” – irrespective of whether Russia agrees with Georgian viewpoints — was nonetheless a welcome development.

“It is very important that every state today pursues a sovereign foreign policy because this… is forming today a proof of whether the state, the country, its people are [truly] sovereign, or is it all a fiction.”

Zakharova continued: “This is the most important moment recently when everyone must answer the question: do we dance to someone else’s tune or are we truly independent and sovereign, will we agree to always live under oppression… simply because it is profitable today for somewhere across the ocean [meaning the U.S. – editor]? Or we can protect our internal sovereignty for [assuring] future development?”

On Geneva Talks and Cancel Culture

Asked to comment on the postponement of Geneva International Discussions by the Co-Chairs amid Russia’s war in Ukraine, Zakharova attributed the decision to the “cancel culture” and described it as “childish.”

“You know how a child covers the face and says, ‘no one can see me now, I’m in the house’…. This is what the collective West does — and “we are in the house,” covers its face with its hands, closes its eyes, and thinks that it has canceled somebody [out of existence] in this way.”

“Under the banners of tolerance, of  the pursuit of peace in its diversity, the freedom of speech, and pluralism,” said Zakharova, the west has descended ” into this absolutely pathetic ideology of rejecting anything that does not fit their own worldview.”

Of Tangerines and Eucalyptus

Zakharova also spoke of her memories and attitudes toward Abkhazia, saying she practically grew up in the region – a popular Soviet-era coastal destination — as her parents used to visit it during her childhood.

“I adore everything related to the nature of Abkhazia, its culture, I basically started to understand and feel the Caucasus from Abkhazia.”

“I grew up with an understanding and a sense of what the Caucasus is all about after I had been with my parents in Sukhumi and its suburbs,” she added.

Zakharova continued: “Of course, I like most of all this wonderful combination of the sea and eucalyptus… my favorite smell since childhood. And by the way, for the first time, I saw tangerines bloom, this delicate aroma of tangerine flowers.”

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