Lithuanian foreign minister: Russia wants to legitimize annexation of Georgian breakaway regions


“The agreement would de a facto legitimization of the annexation in a very similar way that we observed in Crimea. It is a highly dangerous tendency, which must be condemned unanimously,” the minister told BNS in a telephone interview from Tbilisi after meetings with Georgian leaders.

Linkevičius’ visit also included meetings with opposition members, which maintain they are persecuted by the government. The Lithuanian diplomacy chief said he urged all politicians “to go beyond internal conflicts” in the face of external threats.

Abkhazia and another breakaway region of South Ossetia, that both declared separation from Georgia in the 1990s, were recognized as independent states by Russia after the 2008 war.

Russia has permanently stationed thousands of troops in the region’s military bases. The international community sees the regions as occupied Georgian territories.

Linkevičius said he visited the unrecognized border with South Ossetia during his visit.

In June, Georgia signed an association agreement with the European Union (EU) and seeks to join NATO; however, the membership perspectives remain vague.

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