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Georgian President Urges Russia To Stop Meddling In Ex-Soviet Republics' Affairs

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili (file photo)

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has said Russia must treat former Soviet republics as full-fledged members of the international community.

In an interview with RFE/RL on September 30, Margvelashvili said Russia considers that "international laws are not fully valid or valid in a distorted way on territory defined by Russia's foreign policy as the 'near abroad.'"

Russia recognized Georgia's breakaway territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states after a brief war against Georgia in 2008. Moscow has thousands of troops in the regions.

Margvelashvili said "the West has not understood fully the absurdity and the tragedy of what happened in 2008, which led to what happened in Ukraine in 2014."

In March 2014, Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and has been backing separatists in the country’s east.

Margvelashvili urged the West to make clear that Moscow's use of force against the sovereignty and independence of the former Soviet republics is "unacceptable."