Letter to the editor, The Times, 1924 (by Georgian MP V. Tcherkesishvili)

September 10, 1924

Sir,–Your article on “Soviet Treaties in Practice: the Case of Poland” should be supplemented by the case of Georgia, which tragically illustrates the faith of those who rely on Soviet faith. In May 1920, the Moscow Government signed a Treaty with the Georgian Republican Government by which it formally recognized the independence of Georgia, renounced all claims to Georgian territory made by the Czars (with whom Georgia had been in treaty of alliance since 1783) and pledged itself to abstain from interference in the internal affairs of the country.

Under the cover of this Treaty, the Soviet government sent a diplomatic mission to Tiflis, which unceasingly worked to stir up Communist risings. Finding these endeavors unsuccessful, Moscow ordered its Red armies to invade Georgia and, after a desperate resistance by the Georgian nation, the Russian occupation was accomplished in 1921. A regime of arrests, deportations and executions has since kept the country subdued, but your news, dated September 4, of an anti-Soviet rising in Georgia is the best indication that the unhappy people have been goaded into desperate action. As the nation was disarmed it will not succeed in driving out the occupation forces, and we might look forward to ghastly news of wholesale executions.

But the Russian Government, even with the prestige of the Anglo-Soviet Treaty behind it, will not be able to definitely stifle the voice of Georgia demanding from the Soviet Government the observance of the Treaty promises. If real peace is to be established in the Near East, the Great European Powers who recognized the independence of Georgia should pay more attention to Russia’s crime toward that country.

V. Tcherkesishvili (Member of Parliament of the Democratic Republic of Georgia)

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