Tbilisi: Lavrov Explains Refusal to Honor Fallen Soldiers in Georgia

Lavrov Explains Refusal to Honor Fallen Soldiers in Georgia

Civil Georgia, Georgia
Feb 17 2005

Speaking with reporters in the Armenian capital of Yerevan on February
16, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov explained that his refusal
to lay a wreath at the memorial of Georgia’s fallen soldiers during
his visit to Georgia on February 18 is a result of Russia’s mediatory
status in the process of resolving the conflicts in South Ossetia
and Abkhazia.

“This kind of public event could hardly foster an appropriate
atmosphere for the resumption of talks over resolution of the
conflicts,” news agency RIA Novosti quotes Sergey Lavrov as saying.

Georgian Foreign Minister Salome Zourabichvili described Lavrov’s
refusal to honor the memorial of the fallen soldiers who died in
the fight for Georgia’s territorial integrity as “a non-neighborly
gesture.” as a result Sergey Lavrov’s visit has also been downgraded
from an “official” visit to a “working” one.

Georgian Parliamentary Chairperson Nino Burjanadze said that Lavrov’s
refusal is an open demonstration of Moscow’s support for the separatist
regimes in breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia.