President Zurabishvili: Russia Has to Learn Where Its Borders Are
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili said in an interview with Bloomberg that “nobody should think that this war can be resolved without Russia retreating from all the occupied territories.” In the interview, President Zurabishvili talked about the occupation of Georgian territories, the war in Ukraine and Georgia’s EU integration.
Occupation and the war in Ukraine
Speaking about the occupation of Georgian territories, President Zurabishvili noted that “Russia has to learn where its borders are” and that it should be required “to abandon its nearly 15-year-long occupation of Georgia as part of an eventual peace deal to end the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine.”
She also emphasized that if it fails to require Russia to make a full withdrawal as part of surrender terms, “the western world will make another big mistake — as big as 2008 [in Georgia], 2014 [in Crimea].”
President Zurabishvili also focused on President Putin’s impending defeat in the war in Ukraine, noting that “Russia has already practically lost the battles if not completely the war.”
The President reiterated her support for Ukraine, saying that her stance enjoys popular backing among Georgians. She, however, added that the authorities had to be “more careful” given Georgia’s status as a country under partial Russian occupation.
Speaking about the country’s EU integration, President Zurabishvili stressed that time has come for a “strategic decision to be taken by Europe.”
“You have to give us candidate status,” Zurabishvili addressed European partners, adding that “we are not perfect, I know that there are things that we have not been doing, but I think that despite all that we need to move forward.”
She also noted that the country cannot afford another failure on the way to gaining EU candidacy, which could embolden Russia by presenting Georgia as a “gray zone” for its ambitions.
President Zurabishvili also responded to calls from part of Georgian public to pardon ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili, saying: “I do not believe that an individual case will determine our European future.”
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