Polish MFA wants to remind world of Russia's aggression against Georgia

The head of Polish diplomacy Jacek Czaputowicz during the press conference in Tbilisi, Georgia. Jacek Turczyk/PAP

On the tenth anniversary of Russian aggression against Georgia, we want to remind the world about the violation of an independent Georgia, the tragedy of thousands of families expelled from their homes, the hundreds dead and wounded, Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said on Monday.

The head of Polish diplomacy is paying a visit to Georgia along with Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko, and the foreign ministers of Lithuania and Latvia, Linas Linkevicius and Edgars Rinkevics. The two-day visit, which started on Monday, is in connection with the tenth anniversary of Russian aggression against that country.

At a press briefing on Monday before flying to Georgia, Czaputowicz pointed out that on August 7, 2008, Russia committed an act of armed aggression against Georgia, as a result of which more than 150,000 people were forced to flee their homes and over 400 Georgian soldiers were killed defending their country.

"Today, on the tenth anniversary of these events I am going to Georgia together with the ministers of foreign affairs of Lithuania - Linas Linkevicius, and Latvia - Edgars Rinkevics, with the aim of common remembrance of the victims of war and in a gesture of solidarity with the state and nation of Georgia. Once there we will be joined by Ukrainian Deputy Prime minister Pavlo Rozenko," the Polish foreign minister stated.

"We want to remind people of the first military aggression of a neighbouring country against a sovereign state in the post-war history of Europe and the occupation of its territory that lasts till today," Czaputowicz continued. With reference to the format of the visit, the foreign minister noted it is reminiscent of the "historic visit" of late Polish President Lech Kaczyński to Tbilisi in August 2008. That visit was, Czaputowicz commented, "joint, with the participation of the presidents of Estonia, Lithuania and Ukraine as well as the prime minister of Latvia" and was "an unprecedented expression of support for an independent Georgia in the first days of Russian aggression against that country."

Jacek Czaputowicz went on to recall Lech Kaczyński's words during his 2008 visit: "we know very well - today Georgia, tomorrow Ukraine, the day after the Baltic States and maybe later with time against my country - Poland."

"Those words, as later events showed, unfortunately proved prophetic in part and it seems they still apply," Czaputowicz observed.

He said the late president Kaczyński's visit, paid when Russian tanks were approaching Tbilisi, remained a bold gesture in the minds of Georgians and that Lech Kaczyński had "become a symbol of Polish friendship."

He added that, "Russia's aggressive policy in the region, the lack of will to regulate conflicts created by the Kremlin, is a serious threat to the post-war order of Europe and the observance of international law."