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Lithuania Moves to Stop Calling Georgia by its Russian Name

President Giorgi Margvelashvili of Georgia meets his Lithuanian counterpart Dalia Grybauskaitė in November 2013. (photo: Wikimedia Commons, Voice of America Georgian Service)

Lithuania has moved to change the name it uses for Georgia to “Sakartvelo,” the name Georgia calls itself, rather than the Russified name it now uses, “Gruziya.”

Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament Seimas Viktoras Pranckietis said Lithuania’s official name for the Caucasus republic will be changed by 2018 as a “great gift” from Vilnius to the Georgian people, the website BaltNews reports.

“Georgians do not like the word ‘Gruziya’” Pranckietis said. “They prefer their country to be called ‘Sakartvelo.’”

Like most other post-Soviet countries, Lithuanians now refer to the country as “Gruziya” – a name many Georgians consider to be a relic of the Russian Empire. Georgians call their country “Sakartvelo,” meaning “a place for Kartvelians (Georgians).”

Getting other countries to drop the “Gruziya” name has long been on Georgia's diplomatic agenda.

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Lithuania Moves to Stop Calling Georgia by its Russian Name

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