The South Pacific island of Nauru, the world’s smallest republic, sided with Russia in Moscow’s row with Tbilisi over the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Now it looks like Georgia has a proxy of its own in the South Pacific.
Georgia on September 10 cleared a shipment of medicine worth “about $12,000” to Tuvalu, an island state north of Fiji, Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergi Kanapadze announced on September 13. Two days earlier, the 12,000-person island, a British Commonwealth member, voted in favor of a non-binding United Nations General Assembly resolution that calls for the return of displaced ethnic Georgians to the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Deputy Foreign Minister Kanapadze maintained that the foreign aid and the UN vote were not part of a quid-pro-quo deal. “The aid to Tuvalu was agreed way before the UN General Assembly and there is no connection between these two issues,” Kanapadze commented on September 13.
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Giorgi Lomsadze is a freelance reporter based in Tbilisi.