Moscow can annex Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russia’s former president, Dmitry Medvedev, said on Wednesday.
“We do not need a repetition of history – 2008. We remain ready to tackle problems at the negotiating table in the spirit of the UN Charter. But if our concern has real outlines, we will not hesitate,” Dmitry Medvedev said in an article published by Russian weekly newspaper Argumenti i Fakti.
Medvedev, currently the deputy head of the Russian Security Council, argued that the idea of joining Russia remained popular in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, saying the process of annexing the two breakaway regions may be implemented “if there are good reasons for that.”
“For the West, this turn of events will be another shameful fiasco and another symbol of a catastrophic loss of influence. And history severely punishes all those who neglect its lessons,” he added.
Medvedev said the situation in the region has escalated again to create “another hotbed of tension near our borders in addition to the Ukrainian flank.”
“Again there are talks about the possible admission of Georgia into NATO. As ordered, bursts of Russophobia began in this country,” he added.
In 2008, a five-day conflict broke out between Georgia and Russia over the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Tbilisi ultimately lost control of both areas, and Russia later recognized them as independent states.
In response, Georgia cut off diplomatic relations with Russia after which Switzerland took up the role of mediator country.
Both regions remain internationally recognized Georgian territories.