“The United States is deeply concerned by the death of Georgian citizen Archil Tatunashvili during his February 22 arrest and detention in Tskhinvali,” the United States Embassy in Georgia said in its statement on February 26.
The U.S. Embassy expressed its condolences to the family of the deceased and called on “the responsible persons, including Russian officials exercising de facto control over Georgia’s South Ossetia region, to provide the Georgian government with a full accounting of the circumstances of this tragic incident.”
The Embassy then stated that the United States “is also deeply concerned” by the arrest of two other Georgian citizens – Levan Kutashvili and Ioseb Pavliashvili, and called on “the de facto authorities to allow their immediate freedom of movement across the administrative boundary line.”
“We continue to encourage all sides to agree on additional measures to strengthen mutual confidence and transparency in the affected region,” reads the Embassy statement.
The U.S. Embassy also reiterated “its full support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders” and rejected Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
“We once again urge Russia to fulfill all of its obligations under the 2008 ceasefire agreement, to withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions, to reverse its recognition of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, and to provide free access for humanitarian assistance to these regions,” the Embassy said.
The U.S. Embassy concluded the statement by reiterating its earlier calls for justice in the May 2016 murder of Georgian citizen Giga Otkhozoria “along the administrative boundary line of the occupied territory of Abkhazia in Georgia.”