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Vice President Joe Biden's opening statement before the parliament of the Republic of Georgia encompasses in a single sentence U.S. policy toward Georgia:
"I come here on behalf of the United States with a simple, straight-forward message: we, the United States, stand by you on your journey to a secure, free and democratic, and once again united, Georgia."
Vice President Biden travelled to Tbilisi to reassure the government and people of Georgia that while the U.S. is working to reset its relations with Russia, warming relations between Washington and Moscow will not diminish U.S. support for their country.
Neither will the United States legitimize Russia's recognition of Georgia's break-away provinces Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent countries. He reiterated the U.S. call on Russia to fully comply with the peace agreement that ended last year's war between Russia and Georgia, and underscored that there was no military option to the reintegration of Georgia’s separatist regions:
"We will not recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. And we urge the world not to recognize them as independent states. And we call upon Russia to honor its international commitments clearly specified in the. . . ceasefire agreement, including withdrawal of all forces to their pre-conflict positions and ultimately out of your territorial area."
"There is no military option to reintegration," Vice President Biden stressed, "only peaceful and prosperous Georgia."
The United States has, on a number of occasions, clearly stated that it does not recognize a Russian sphere of influence. The Vice President said that the United States supports the right of every country to choose its own friends and allies: "We understand that Georgia aspires to join NATO. We fully support that aspiration," said Vice President Biden, "and we will work to continue to help you meet the standards of NATO membership."