Law on Occupied Territories

Former Mayor of Moscow Luzhkov in Georgia Causes Online Protest

არქიმანდრიტი სერაფიმე და იური ლუჟკოვი Photo: Facebook/ Serafim Bit-kharibi

The former mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov is in Georgia. Luzhkov was the mayor of Moscow from 1992 to 2010.

Luzhkov has visited Georgia’s occupied of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on official visits in 2006 and 2009, violating the law on Occupied Territories of Georgia. However, Luzhkov never stated during his tenure as mayor that he supports the independence of Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

An online manifest was created on May 8th by a private Georgian citizen demanding the Georgian authorities to implement the law on Occupied Territories against Luzhkov.

Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia Shalva Khutsishvili has said that the border guards did not have any ground for not allowing former Moscow mayor Luzhkov to enter Georgia, and that the had proper documents for entering the country.

In an interview with the Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) on May 8th, Luzhkov spoke about coming to Georgia:

“I still think that Abkhazia is a different country, they are totally different people. The same with Ossetia. Obviously, there is some nostalgia and anger, but I think that after forgetting about those regions, Georgia will feel a lot better in the future.

[Entering Georgia] We crossed the border. Of course we had all our documents checked, however the border guard didn’t ask us any questions, or the kind of questions that should have been asked. We came as a touristic group.

I know about the occupation law, but I think that everything that was in the past, should remain in the past.

The rulers of our countries should think about the future. I see how important relations with Russia are for Georgia, including in trade as well, especially for Georgia wine.”

Movement for Liberty - European Georgia MP Giorgi Kandelaki commented on Luzhkov’s being allowed to enter Georgia:

“We demand the Minister of Internal Affairs to give an explanation - who made this decision to violate the law on the Occupied Territories of Georgia. Whoever made this decision should leave their post and pay for it.”

Georgian Dream MP Gia Volski on the other hand has stated that: “Anyone who enters with a friendly heart, whether it’s Luzhkov or any other foreigner, knows about Georgian hospitality. Unfortunately rough relations with Russia won’t be over soon. In this case, Georgia’s door is open for Luzhkov, if he hasn’t had any violations. If he’s had violations then he should be treated as any other individual [whose had violations].”


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