Ex-president: French president's visit will not help Georgia
Georgia, Tbilisi, Sept. 19 / Trend N.Kirtzkhalia /
French President Nicolas Sarkozy's visit to Georgia will not provide any real help to the occupied territories, Former Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze said in an interview with Georgian weekly "Asaval-Dasavali.". He commented on Sarkozy's upcoming visit to the South Caucasus region on Oct.6-7.
He stated that solutions to Georgia's problems should not be looked for in Europe, but in Russia.
"Georgian officials have earlier stated that Sarkozy will arrive in Tbilisi and make harsh statements against Russia for its failure to meet its cease-fire agreement dated Aug.12, 2008. But the authorities later reduced the statement by saying that Sarkozy will support Georgia, but will not criticize Russia," he said.
Shevardnadze reiterated that no European country, and in general the West "would spoil relations with Russia" for the sake of Georgia.
"We need good relations with Russian leaders. Our Patriarch Ilia II also supports this position. During the opening of the monastery in Daryal Gorge on the Georgian-Russian border last week, he called for negotiations with Russia," he said.
Military actions were launched in the Unrecognized Republic of South Ossetia in August 2008. Georgian troops entered Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia. Russian troops later occupied the city and drove the Georgian military back to Georgia. Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on Aug. 26 and established diplomatic relations with them on Sept. 9, 2008.