Official Policy Statements
Georgia Responds to Russia's Recognition of Statehood of Abkhazia and South Ossetia
Mikheil Saakashvili, President of Georgia
On-going series: Crisis in the Caucasus - 2008
The Russian / Georgian Conflict and Its Impact on Azerbaijan
Statement: Georgia's President Saakashvili
Published in ANS TV, Baku on August 27, 2008
Saakashvili's televised address to the nation following the Russia's recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia's independence on August 26.
"As you know Russia's made a unilateral decision in respect of Georgia's two regions.
This is the first attempt since Nazi Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union, when a large state tried to at first force a neighboring state to kneel down and then tries to openly annex [the neighboring state's] two regions, hence is trying to redraw borders in Europe.
"After a failure to subdue Georgia as a result of military aggression, oust the Georgian government, shatter Georgia's fundamental values and make Georgia disappear from the map as they planned it, as well as after the Georgian army, people and the entire international community showed huge resistance and heroism, Russia decided to announce about this unimaginable illegality.
"I want everyone to understand one thing: Russia's step today is totally illegal, and it will have no legal consequences either for Georgia or rest of the world.
"Today, yesterday and in recent weeks, Russia made unimaginable strategic mistakes and hit an unimaginable blow to its place in the international community and in the history of the contemporary world.
"My entire presidency was dedicated to preventing the isolation in which we are now.
"All of Russia's actions so far were directed towards leaving Georgia without supporters and isolated as was the case in 1921 [when the Bolshevik Red Army invaded Georgia]. This plan of Russia has been totally thwarted.
"Georgia was totally alone and with no supporters almost 100 percent of the world population even did not know the name and location of this country back in 1992-1993 [when Georgia lost control over Abkhazia and South Ossetia].
"But now Georgia has gained huge international support and solidarity from all over the world and support towards our territorial integrity. We would have failed to gain such enormous support, even if we had tried for 200 years, if Russia had not made these mistakes. Our intense efforts of recent years have brought results through mutual solidarity and through the mistakes made by Russia.
"I want you to know that Russia's decision is being unanimously condemned by European Union (EU), the United States, Japan and all the civilized states in the world. All these States say that Georgia's territorial integrity is totally untouchable.
"Up until now, we had to permanently speak out that these are not Georgia's internal problems, that Russia is part of it, that Russia is not a peace-loving country and that Russia is not an impartial 'peacemaker.' Unfortunately, we were not able to confirm this to many [countries], because they had many other priorities.
"But now the restoration of Georgia's territorial integrity and protection of Georgia's independence is no longer a matter of only Georgia or a matter of Georgia-Russian relations; this is a matter of Russia and the rest of the civilized world."