Give Them Their Autonomy Already! Russian troops are still stationed in South Ossetia province, in the north of Georgia. Here, several Russian soldiers are pictured in Georgia in front of a mural of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Georgia announced Friday that it will withdraw all Georgian diplomats from its embassy in Moscow in protest of Russian soldiers’ presence in the country. Russia is expected to pull its own diplomats from its embassy in Tbilisi, but of course its troops will still be stationed in Georgian territory if Georgia really needs to talk.
Georgia said Friday it was severing diplomatic ties with Moscow to protest the presence of Russian troops on its territory. Russia criticized the move, saying it will not benefit relations between the countries.
Georgia will withdraw the remaining diplomats from its Moscow Embassy on Saturday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Nato Chikovani said. Georgia’s parliament voted unanimously late Thursday to break off diplomatic ties with the “aggressor country.”
Russia criticized the decision. “Breaking off diplomatic relations with Tbilisi is not Moscow’s choice, and the responsibility lies with Tbilisi,” the ITAR-Tass news agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko as saying.
RIA-Novosti quoted an unnamed Foreign Ministry official as saying that Russia would have to close its embassy in Georgia if diplomatic relations were severed.