Georgia not to repeat earlier mistakes, never to put up with losing Abkhazia, S. Ossetia - PM Gakharia
TBILISI. Aug 7 (Interfax) - Georgia will never put up with losing Abkhazia and South Ossetia and will use exclusively peaceful methods to restore its territorial integrity, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said in connection with the 12th anniversary of the August 2008 conflict.
"It's been 12 years since our country went through the severest ordeal of its modern history. The Russian-Georgian war of 2008 killed hundreds of our citizens, including civilians, and inflicted wounds and horrid consequences," Gakharia said on the social media.
Georgia will never repeat the earlier mistakes because it knows there is no alternative to peace and joint work and economic development are the only way to unite the country, he said.
"Therefore, our leadership has chosen to hold a rational and consistent policy, which will definitely bring us to the ultimate objective - complete de-occupation and peaceful living of artificially divided society in a united, democratic European nation," Gakharia said.
Georgia tried to seize South Ossetia in the small hours of August 8, 2008. The South Ossetian capital of Tskhinval and other cities of the republic came under intensive fire of heavy artillery and Grad rocket launchers.
After hours of gunfire, Georgian forces launched an offensive and occupied a substantial part of the South Ossetian territory. Seeking to protect its citizens and peacekeepers from dying, Russia had to interfere and launched a peace enforcement operation against Georgia. As a result, South Ossetia was freed and Georgian forces suffered a defeat near Tskhinval and had to retreat. The hostilities lasted through August 12. The presidents of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Georgia and Russia signed a peaceful settlement plan on August 14-16.
Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on August 26, 2008.