Georgia responds to Ukrainian call to attack Russia
Georgia has poured cold water on a call from the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine for the opening of a “second [military] front” against Russia. Alexey Danilov was appearing live on Kiev's 1+1 TV station late on Saturday.
The senior official said that, should new conflicts break out between Russia and third parties, these scenarios would provide “quality support” to Ukraine in trying to fend off Moscow's ongoing military assault.
Georgia could become one such party, Danilov suggested, criticizing the neutral stance taken by Tbilisi, which fought a brief war with Russia, in 2008. The Georgian leadership has abstained from imposing anti-Russian sanctions, arguing that such a step would only harm the country’s own economy.
“Georgia is behaving not very appropriately, to put it mildly,” the official said, calling on the Salome Zourabichvili government to try and “return” territories. Danilov was apparently referring to South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which broke away from Tbilisi in the 1990s and are recognized as independent by Russia.
“But, what if both Pridnestrovie [another name for Transnistria, an enclave internationally recognised as part of Moldova], and Georgia, and everyone would embark onto returning their territories today,” Danilov asked. A Russian peacekeeping force has been stationed for decades in Transnistria.
“This would definitely help us, because that would make them busy with something besides destroying our cities and villages, killing our children and women.”
Danilov’s warlike calls, however, have met a cold reception in Georgia, with multiple politicians firmly rejecting such ideas. An MP from the ruling Georgian Dream party and the head of Georgia’s parliamentary foreign affairs committee, Nikoloz Samharadze, even expressed doubts such statements could have been produced by that senior official at all.
“I hope this is a lie. Does the Secretary of the Security Council of Ukraine call on Georgia and others to abandon the policy of peaceful restoration of their territorial integrity, opening a second front to destroy our cities and villages, so that Georgian women and children die too? Is this true?” Samkharadze wondered in a social media post.
A similar sentiment was expressed by another MP from the Georgian Dream party, Mikhail Sardzhveladze, who said that igniting more conflicts “will not help or become a relief for Ukraine”
Danilov also approved of the idea to claim the Kaliningrad region from Russia, voiced earlier this week by ex-commander of the Polish Land Forces, General Waldemar Skrzypczak. The general claimed that the formerly German region, which ended up under Russian rule after the defeat of the Nazis in World War Two, was, in fact, Polish land.
The remarks prompted widespread condemnation in Russia, with the governor of the region, Anton Alikhanov, warning the Polish general that his country should not raise territorial claims, given that “a very large part of land that is now Poland, in fact, was conquered, claimed from Nazi Germany and transferred as a gift from the Soviet to the Polish people [by Joseph Stalin's regime].”