NATO’s acting spokesperson Dylan White condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia, speaking from Brussels on August 8. Putin met with the de facto government of Abkhazia during the nine-year anniversary of the Russia-Georgia August war of 2008.
White called the action ‘detrimental’ in trying to settle peace in the region, and emphasized NATO’s support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
“President Putin’s visit to the Abkhazia region of Georgia – on the ninth anniversary of the armed conflict – is detrimental to international efforts to find a peaceful and negotiated settlement. We regret that this visit was carried out without prior consent of the Georgian authorities. NATO has full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally-recognised borders, [and] we will not recognise any attempts to change the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as regions of Georgia,” White said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia said President Putin’s visit to Abkhazia is an attempt to “legitimize the occupation regime,” in an official statement.