TBILISI, DFWatch – President Mikheil Saakashvili says his country expects a new attack from Russia by October, when parliament elections are to be held. But he things it will fail.
Saakashvili is on a visit to Latvia together with his wife, and made the statement after a meeting with the Latvian president.
“We await next attack from Russia on October elections. I think this attempt will be unsuccessful. Towards Russia we try to be possibly constructive and flexible. But we do not intend to exchange our independence for cooperation with Russia,” Saakashvili said, according to his own office.
The president expressed hope that Russia will become a normal country which it is possible to cooperate with.
He discussed the situation in the breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which are occupied by Russia.
The population there has fallen to less than ten thousand, he says. In 2008 about 90 percent were forced to leave the regions and only 20 percent are left in Abkhazia since the 90s.
“So these territories have been emptied of people. We have about half a million refugees, who were resettled from their houses. We help people who stayed there and make efforts to give them a chance to make use of Georgian progress.”
The president mentioned his initiative in February to cancel visa requirements for Russian citizens, saying that Georgia extends a hand to the Russian people, while it’s impossible for Georgians to receive Russian visa.
“Dmitry Medvedev recently stated that they want to implement reforms like in Georgia, but they can’t. But they also admit that Georgia implemented interesting reforms, which they will study and even use. Of course, he also said that he hates me personally and wants to get rid of me.”.
Saakashvili says there is nothing new in Russian policy and occupation of territories is common, which they did in countries like Georgia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia; neither is overthrowing governments something new to them.
“But they intervened in Georgia to kill me and overthrow the government, but they failed to achieve this goal.”