Deputy head of Russia's Security Council and chairman of the United Russia party, Dmitry Medvedev (L). EPA-EFE/EKATERINA SHTUKINA / SPUTNIK / GOVERNMENT PRESS SERVICE POOL MANDATORY CREDIT


Moscow may annex Georgian breakaway regions, former Russian president says


Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev said that South Ossetia and Abkhazia in the Caucasus, which most countries recognise as parts of Georgia, might join Russia.

“The idea of joining Russia is still popular in Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” Medvedev, a former Russian president, write in an article today.

“It could quite possibly be implemented if there are good reasons for that.” He suggested such a move could happen if Georgia takes steps towards joining NATO.

“We will not wait if our concerns become closer to reality,” Medvedev wrote.

“For the majority of Georgians, it is much more comfortable to live in peace with our country. Russia is nearby; America is across the ocean. For Georgia, a country with a rich culture, intricately connected to Russia by thousands of threads, Russophobia is nonsense, ugliness, a serious illness. Fortunately, it is entirely curable,” he said.

Medvedev highlighted that “Russophobes in Georgia” still hope for revenge but “constantly encounter resistance from fellow citizens who are not interested in elevating hatred towards Russia to the level of a national idea”, adding most had warm feelings towards Russians.

“At a certain point, [former Georgian president Mikhail] Saakashvili assumed the role of the primary surrogate leader for the United States in the Caucasus,” he claimed.

“His main objective was to stoke animosity among the Georgian population towards Russia, erode its influence in the South Caucasus region, and cast a shadow over the longstanding historical friendship between the two countries,” Medvedev asserted.

He went on to say that Western powers are actively spreading Russophobia globally, aiming to undermine Russia through various means and, ideally, weaken and destroy it.

Following a brief conflict between Russia and Georgia in 2008 over the regions in question, Moscow has effectively maintained control over Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Medvedev was president of Russia at the time.

While the Kremlin acknowledges both regions as independent states, the majority of United Nations members consider them to be territories occupied by Russia within Georgian boundaries.

Georgia condemned Russia’s seizure of Crimea in 2014 and its military incursion into Ukraine in 2022. Nevertheless, being dependent on Russia for tourism and the export of its wine among other things, Georgia has refrained from aligning with Western countries in implementing sanctions against Moscow.