Georgian Ambassador Vasil Sikharulidze spoke to an overflow crowd of over 200 yesterday at The Heritage Foundation. You can watch the entire event here. The Ambassador began his remarks:

Before 8/6 I never would have anticipated having to speak about Russian invasions and occupations or things that the free world and Nato are now facing.

I would like to reiterate that the Georgian people are now more dedicated than ever to being part the free world, to joining NATO, to breathing the air of freedom and democracy, to living in peace. We are willing to defend our right to exist as a sovereign and independent country.

I want to be clear, the Russian invasion of my country was a highly organized, well planned months ahead, military operation. you just don’t move more than 1200 tanks and 15,000 soldiers into a country in 12 hours without serious planning.

Later in his remarks the Ambassador continued:

We must clear about this. This is not about what Russia did to Georgia, but what Russia intends to do to Europe. I believe that the last few days have shown without a shadow of doubt that Russia is using this moment to project the message to the world that it is back as an imperial power and the free world is powerless to respond. But I do not believe that the West is powerless. Russian aggression can and must be resisted. Power of the free world requires unity. otherwise if they sense weakness and disunity we will find ourselves in much dire circumstances very soon.

[photo by Andrew Blasko]