“The occupation of the Tskhinvali and Abkhazia regions by Russia remained a major threat for Georgia in 2021,” the State Security Service of Georgia (SSG) said in its annual report. The state agency has already submitted the document to the Parliament.
“In the reporting period, the occupation regime continued the annexation policy of the occupied regions. The occupied regions were actively militarized and hosted numerous military drills. Throughout 2021, on the background of coronavirus pandemic, the fundamental rights of the ethnic Georgians were further restricted, which resulted in additional deterioration of their conditions,” the report reads.
The document notes that the intelligence services of the Russian Federation were active in the occupied territories during the reporting period. “The illegal activities of the Russian military contingent and special services in the occupied regions posed a threat to the security of Georgia and the whole region,” the report stresses.
The document remarks that in 2021 the Kremlin was actively seeking to increase its influence in the energy system of occupied Abkhazia.
According to the report, the direct threat of annexation of the occupied Tskhinvali region remained a substantial challenge through 2021, as the Tskhinvali de facto regime has openly supported the integration into the Russian Federation.
“The occupation force uses the invented notion of ‘United Ossetia’ as the basis for the annexation of occupied Tskhinvali,” the document says.
According to SSG, the occupied regions’ financial dependency on the central budget of the Russian Federation was high in 2021.
“According to the information available, the financial assistance delivered to occupied Abkhazia amounted to 69 million USD, which filled about 50% of the so-called budget. As for the occupied Tskhinvali region, Russian financial aid constituted 84 million USD, representing 83% of the so-called budget,” the document notes.