Putin Appoints new ‘Ambassador’ to Occupied Tskhinvali
25 May, 2017
On May 23 Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree about appointment Marat Kulakhmetov as the new “Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of South Ossetia.”
Kulakhmetov has replaced former envoy Elbrus Kargiev, who was dismissed from the position.

In 2004-2008 Marat Minyurovich Kulakhmetov was a commander of the Russian Combined Peacekeeping Forces in breakaway South Ossetia.

Also, he has been an advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation since 2011.

The Georgian side accuses him of supporting the South Ossetian separatists and has raised the question of substituting the Russian-led peacekeeping operation with an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe force.

Kulakhmetov was born in Penza to Tatar parents. He graduated from Frunze Military Academy in Moscow in 1991.

Official Tbilisi says Kulakhmetov’s appointment is not ‘legitimate.’

Moreover, Georgia’s State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili says Kulakhmetov was directly involved in the developments of August 2008 war.

She says the appointment of a new ‘ambassador’ is absolutely unacceptable for official Tbilisi as this step once again violates Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“This fact is in line with Russia’s politics, which it still carries on the territory of Georgia…This step has no legal value for us,” she added.

State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Viktor Dolidze says Kulakhmetov is an ‘ordinary occupant.’

"His appointment can be seen as a cynical step, as he was sent back to South Ossetia,” Dolidze noted.

As for Georgia’s Foreign Minister, Mikheil Janelidze, he says no comment can be made on Kulakhmetov’s appointment.

The minister added that the Georgian government is doing its best to end the occupation and the occupants’ presence in Georgia.

By Thea Morrison

Source: Georgia Today

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