TBILISI, DFWatch–The Georgian president has declined an invitation to participate in the traditional May 9 celebration in Moscow of the 70th anniversary of victory in World War 2.
The reason is that Russia signed ‘integration agreements’ with South Ossetia and Abkhazia that violate Georgia’s territorial integrity.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed agreements first with the breakaway leader of Abkhazia in October, and then with South Ossetia in March.
They are seen by Tbilisi as a step toward actual annexation, as they entail actual dissolution of borders and building common military and security bodies. Georgia’s Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili said Russia has continued its hostile policies toward Georgia despite efforts by the new government to normalize relations.
President Giorgi Margvelashvili received an official invitation from Vladimir Putin to attend the May 9 ceremony in Moscow in December. However, the invitation letter had a formal mistake: the name Margvelashvili’s father was misspelled.
The Georgian side sent the letter back to Moscow via the Swiss embassy in order to correct the mistake. After that, Moscow sent another, corrected letter, only to now have it rejected.
Many western leaders have declined Vladimir Putin’s invitation to the May 9 celebration because of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and involvement in the war in Donbass.