I hope you realize your responsibility for the future of Georgia and before those fighters who died in the line of duty to save the Georgian statehood, President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili told Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili when making a speech on board of the US naval vessel Bulkeley on 11 August. The president and the prime minister attended a reception on the vessel.
The President commented on several points in Prime Minister's speech made in Gori on 8 August, the fifth anniversary of the Georgia-Russia war of 2008. Saakashvili said that Georgia shall not look calmly at the installation of the barbed wire fences along the occupational lines deep into the Georgian-controlled territory.
"I have just visited an amazingly beautiful place [the village of Ganmukhuri at the occupational line with Abkhazia] where hundreds of millions of laris were spent on the development of tourist infrastructure in the past few years. On many Russian maps, this amazing place, Ganmukhuri, is indicated as a territory of the so-called independent republic [of Abkhazia] and I want to tell everyone that if Russians, as the next step, move their barbed wire fences so that to include this prosperous Ganmukhuri [within the boundaries of occupied Abkhazia], I as the President and the citizen of my country will not look at that step calmly and will not look calmly at anyone who will look at that step calmly. Of course, I am not calling anyone for war, especially for war with Russia, but we should spend much less time on the confrontation with each other in the international arena and join hands to ensure that barbed wire fences are no longer installed in our territory," Saakashvili said.
Saakashvili commended the prime minister for referring to Russia as aggressor, which, as he put it, is "a correct thesis," but criticized that part of prime minister's speech in which Ivanishvili laid the responsibility for the August 2008 war on Georgia too.
"I flatly deny that Georgia bears any responsibility for the 2008 war and I want to categorically tell you Mr. Bidzina - I hope you will think over this issue, because the one who says this either does not love Georgia or has other kind of problems or is in the alliance with Georgia's enemy. I hope you are not in the alliance with Georgia's enemy. I hope you understand your share of responsibility for the future of Georgia and before those fallen soldiers who saved the Georgian statehood," declared Mikheil Saakashvili.
Along with the president and the prime minister, the reception on the board of the US naval ship was also attended by the chairman of parliament, ministers, the head of the government of Adjara and the US ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland. The USS Bulkeley arrived in Batumi on 10 August, for a regularly scheduled port visit that will include combined training exercises with the Georgian Coast Guard.