National / Politics

Georgian president seeks support from Japan, world in standing up to Russia

by Masaaki Kameda

Staff Writer

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said his country needs continuous support from Japan and the rest of the international community to maintain stability in the Caucasus region in the face of an increasingly assertive Russia.

Speaking at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo on Tuesday, Margvelashvili said Russia is taking further steps in its occupation of two Georgian territories, and is moving toward fully annexing them.

Russia has controlled Abkhazia and South Ossetia since 2008, establishing them as quasi-states, the 45-year-old president said.

“Now there is a new project developed by Russians, which is basically taking every function of the quasi-states and integrating them socially, militarily, politically, judicially,” Margvelashvili said. “All functions of these quasi-states are integrated into Russia.”

He stressed the importance of support from the international community in solving one of Georgia’s main issues.

“It is important to acknowledge that if we have unanimous support of unacceptance of aggression, of occupation, of annexation policies around Russia or in other parts of the world,” he said. “Then . . . we will eventually prevail.”

He also expressed appreciation for Japan’s support for Georgia over its territorial issues.

Margvelashvili arrived in Japan on Tuesday for his first visit since being elected president in October 2013.

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