“AMBASSADOR COULDN’T HAVE SAID IT”
26 November, 2013
“AMBASSADOR COULDN’T HAVE SAID IT”
“I’m glad the Ambassador’s declaration was incorrectly translated”

According to reports, while meeting with the students at Tbilisi State University, Richard Norland, USA Ambassador to Georgia, declared that “Georgians treated the Abkhazians and Ossetians the same way as Russians treated Georgians before and for this Georgians should apologize.” Later it became known that the Ambassador’s declaration was translated incorrectly and it was disseminated in a distorted form. Political scientist Giorgi Kuchava, who 20 years ago met with Richard Norland w
hen he was visiting Georgia, thinks that the Ambassador couldn’t have said such words.
G.K. – Mr. Norland is an experienced, highly qualified diplomat who in Soviet times for years worked in USA Embassy in Moscow. Even in case he had reason for it, he wouldn’t make such a declaration unless there was an instruction from Washington.
When speaking with my grandfather who worked in Apkhazeti, Mr. Norland asked him about the relations between Georgians and Abkhazians, whether there was any discord between them. My grandfather answered that the relations between Georgian and Abkhaz peoples were perfect. The symptoms of tension started to show in 1954 when the Crimean peninsula was given to Ukraine by Russia.
I’ll recall the civil war in Syria. The Georgian people were watching the process inasmuch as we were interested whether this war would concern us and if we could become involved in it. Later it happened so that the Syrian problem was regulated and it was due to a big role of Russian diplomacy. Retaining of the Assad’s regime is doubtlessly great success of Russian diplomacy. At the same time I think that it was the West’s and first of all USA’s failure. Europe could have received Qatar gas through Syria and it would have been a significant blow to Russian Gazprom.
In his book “The New Cold War. Putin’s Russia and the Threat to the West,” famous British journalist Edward Lucas notes that the new cold war started so that the free world couldn’t even notice it and it cannot realize that for now it’s being lost.
I was watching attentively all the information means and until I learnt that the Ambassador’s words were incorrectly translated the silence of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, political parties and NGOs at Richard Norland’s declaration amazed me.
I’d like to remind you that one of the reasons for Kosovo’s recognition allegedly was the Serbs inhuman attitude to Albanians living in Kosovo. Thus, in case Richard Norland’s declaration was real, Georgian people should have been at least frightened as it could have been a sign for preparations of the leading countries to recognize Abkhazia and the so-called South Ossetia as independent states. In diplomatic language, it has this meaning. Do we face a threat that the free world, like in case of Syria, will again satisfy the Kremlin’s demand? By the way, not long ago social network spread Putin’s words according to which former USSR is Russia.
I’d like to remind those who may really think that we, Georgians, oppressed Abkhazians that we, Georgians are refugees from Abkhazia; ethnic cleansing was implemented not by Abkhaz people but by Russian militaries and North Caucasian “volunteers” supported by Russian Federation armed forces. This is known to Richard Norland. In 1993, he visited Abkhazia more than once. He even met with the so-called President of de-facto Republic of Abkhazia Vladimir Ardzinba. I’m glad the Ambassador’s declaration was incorrectly translated. Otherwise I’d think that his position meant conceding of Abkhazia to Russia!

Ambassador’s response to the press question regarding the hyped discussion with TSU students:

Ambassador Norland: “I’m glad you have asked because I think there may be some need of clarification and I’m going to actually read you something. There was a so called “quote” taken out of context. It was not a policy speech, but part of a frank and thought-provoking academic discussion with students. It was an isolated statement during an hour and 20 minute-long exchange. U.S. policy has not changed with regards to the occupied territories. As Georgians know, I myself witnessed first-hand the suffering experienced 20 years ago. Mistakes were made on all sides. But nothing justifies the forced expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Georgians from their homes or the occupation of sovereign Georgian territory. Looking to the future, some sort of reconciliation process that addresses grievances on all sides must be part of the effort to restore Georgia’s territorial integrity, an effort which the United States will continue to support strongly.”
Q: - Was it right for Ambassador Norland to express his personal opinion publicly.
Ambassador Norland: “This was a discussion with students. Actually it was off the record and it was secret recording. I’m actually surprised and I’m not sure the quotes you have are accurate. But I’ve expressed my opinion on this statement today.”
Print
Other Stories
Travel between Ukraine and Georgia for both countries’ citizens to be allowed only by electronic ID cards
The Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze has announced that the citizens of Georgia and Ukraine will be able to travel in and out of both countries using only electronic ID cards.
Why does the Georgians love John McCain?
John McCain, Senator, and former Presidential candidate of the USA died on the 25th of August, 2018. He was diagnosed with lioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer last year.
The IBSU Conundrum
Teachers, students and students-to-be all took to the streets when the news broke that the International Black Sea University, one of the most highly regarded universities in the country, wouldn’t be admitting new students into its ranks this year.
Angela Merkel arrives in Georgia
German chancellor Angela Merkel has already arrived in Georgia.
German media about possible reasons for  Merkel’s visit to Georgia
As German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Tbilisi today, expectations are high and both the Georgian and German media are speculating about the possible results of the visit.
Angela Merkel to visit Georgia on August 23
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Georgia on the 23rd of August. Her plan is to visit the Caucasus states of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Georgian presidential candidate to Journalists –“Shake your brain!”
“Journalists should shake their brains” – said Georgian presidential candidate, Salome Zurabishvili to journalists.
What does Giorgi Margvelashvili own?
The presidential election will be held on 28th of October, 2018 in Georgia. The President Giorgi Margvelashvili has not yet confirmed his participation in the election.
"Father returned for mother ... then the bomb landed …”
10 years on, this is a different August. But this month is a time of remembrance and of hard memories and hurt.
The World talks about the 2008 war
On the tenth anniversary of the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, 20% of Georgia continues to be occupied by Russian military forces who also seem intent of further encroachment on Georgian territory.
Georgia hosts high ranking guests for the 10th anniversary of the 2008 war
Ten years have passed since the Russian military intervention in Georgia,in August, 2008.
 10 Years Anniversary of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia – “Mission supports stability and security on the ground”
10 years have now passed since the August 2008 war between Georgia and Russia and still we face a huge daily threat. Certain parts of Georgia continue to be occupied even today.
Heroin seized near Georgia-Azerbaijan State Border
Border Police from the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs have arrested a 28 year old individual.
After ten years from the 2008 war, borderization continues
It is ten years since the 2008 August war between Russia and Georgia.
Multinational Noble Partner training 2018 has launched
The multinational Noble Partner training 2018 commenced on the 1st of August.
National Democratic Institute publishes the latest survey
Poll results released today by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and CRRC Georgia show growing dissatisfaction about the state of the country’s economy, environment, and political climate going into the presidential election.
Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze needs 5 more Regional Governors
At a recent Government press conference Mamuka Bakhtadze, the Prime Minister of Georgia, announced that new Governors for the following regions are required:
German government plans to recognize Georgia among safe countries
The German government will shortly approve a law, which enables the countries such as Georgia, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria to be recognized as safe countries
Latvian MEP Andrejs Mamikins about Georgia’s prospects for EU membership
Georgia is a country that wants to become member of the EU, but how does it look from Brussels?
Military equipment and techniques created by Georgians
Delta is a Military, Scientific and Technical Provider.
What does Georgia contribute to the NATO alliance?
The idea that Georgia should join the NATO alliance was first suggested back in the 1990s. However nobody believed it would become a reality
Most liked and disliked ministers of Georgia
Mamuka bakhtadze, the Prime Minister of Georgia has announced structural changes in the government as a part of his plan to cut down on governmental spending.
Mamuka Bakhtadze officially submitted as a candidate for PM by the President of Georgia
President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili has submitted Mamuka Bakhtadze as a candidate for Prime Minister.
Russia conducts military exercises in Georgia's occupied Tskhinvali Region
The sub-units of the 4th base of the Ministry of Defense of Russia are conducting military exercises in occupied Tskhinvali (so-called South Ossetia).
Candidate for PM’s position Mamuka Bakhtadze vows Georgia to become united, European country
Former Finance Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze has been named as a candidate for the Prime Minister’s post, which became vacant after Giorgi Kvirikashvili's resignation.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
23.09.2018
24.09.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6216
2.6216
EUR
1
EUR
3.0854
3.0854
GBP
1
GBP
3.4584
3.4584
RUB
100
RUB
3.9340
3.9340
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6216
EUR
1
EUR
3.0854
GBP
1
GBP
3.4584
RUB
100
RUB
3.9340