Disinfo: The West hinders Georgia’s normalisation of relations with Russia

Summary

The West does not allow Georgia to sit down and talk to Russia one-on-one. Such discussions would allow the [Georgia-Russia] relations to normalise and would start positive shifts in all directions. It would finally reveal the face of the West and prove that it was the West that hindered the settlement of relations during this time.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the belligerent West trying to encircle Russia. Consistent with a common pro-Kremlin narrative on “lost sovereignty” challenging Georgian statehood, as if Georgia is ruled by the West. Pro-Kremlin outlets often claim many countries, not under Moscow's control, became Western puppets.

Contrary to the claim, the West does not hinder Georgia from normalising relations with Russia. Georgia broke off diplomatic relations with Russia because the latter attacked Georgia in 2008, occupying 20% of the country and recognising the occupied regions of Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as independent states. Many international organisations condemned the further occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, see e.g. the CSCE statement here and the European Parliament's declaration.

The EU's independent investigative commission into the 2008 Russo-Georgian war confirmed that Russia had been provoking Georgia for a long time and "Much of the Russian military action went far beyond the reasonable limits of defence."

Russia continues its military presence in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia in violation of international law and commitments undertaken by Russia under the 12 August 2008 agreement, mediated by the European Union.

Currently, Georgia engages with Russia at the Geneva International Discussions (GID) – the multilateral forum to address security and humanitarian consequences of the Russo-Georgian War of August 2008, attended by Georgia’s Western partners as well.

Moreover, Special Representative of the Georgian Prime Minister for Relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze and Russian former Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin hold regular meetings, often referred to as Abashidze-Karasin format.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 259
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 07/09/2021
  • Article language(s) Georgian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Georgia, Russia
  • Keywords: West, Diplomacy with Russia, Encircling Russia, Anti-Russian, Russo-Georgian War
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Disinfo: Lithuania is using Tatar minority as a weapon against Moscow

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Disproof

Recurring disinformation linked to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea.

Lithuania, as the whole EU and other international bodies, has not recognised the so-called referendum in Crimea. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Territorial integrity of Ukraine”, stating that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Disinfo: 2014 Vrbětice explosion is being used as part of a planned disinformation campaign

Vrbětice explosion case is part of a planned disinformation campaign targeting Russia. There is an ongoing anti-Russian campaign waged in Czechia.

Disproof

Part of a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative according to which Russia is a victim of a Western anti-Russian campaign driven by Russophobia. This narrative is employed as a way to deflect accusations of wrongdoing levied against Russia.

There is a significant body of evidence proving that Russia was involved in the 2014 Vrbětice explosion, therefore there is no ground to claim that the Vrbětice case was a planned disinformation campaign.

Disinfo: Russia not bound by Minsk deals, only Ukraine and DNR/LNR are warring sides

Russia has no obligations under the Minsk agreements because it is not a party to them. The Package of Measures is binding only for Kyiv on the one hand and Donetsk and Luhansk on the other hand.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets claiming that Russia is a mediator in Eastern Ukraine along with France, Germany and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), while Ukraine and the separatists are the only warring sides.

In reality, it is an established fact that Russia is a party to the Donbas conflict. Ukrainian troops have seized several Russian active-duty soldiers in Donbas since the war broke out in 2014. Russia has been supplying the separatists with weapons. Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2015 acknowledged Russian military presence in Donbas, adding that they were not servicemen. However, he admitted Moscow’s military involvement in Eastern Ukraine. Separatist leaders themselves admit that there are a lot of Russian servicemen in Donbas, who fight there while on vacation from duty in Russia. Although these people may be on vacation, it does not deny the fact that Russian soldiers and officers do serve in Donbas.