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Plenary session, 2016, Strasbourg. Photo: European Parliament

European Parliament Adopts Resolution on Georgia, Condemns Russian Occupation

The European Parliament adopted a non-binding resolution on Georgia today, urging the Russian Federation to “cease its occupation of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia,” and to “stop the de facto integration of both regions into Russian administration.”

The resolution titled “Georgian Occupied Territories Ten Years after the Russian Invasion” that was co-sponsored by 50 MEPs, was preceded by debates on June 12.

Stressing that “10 years after the Russian military aggression in Georgia” the Russian Federation “still continues its illegal occupation of the Georgian territories,” the MEPs called upon the EU institutions to adopt an approach that “by using clearer and more precise terms” would define Russian aggression in Georgia “as occupation.”

“The international community must take a consistent, coordinated, united and firm stance against Russia’s occupation and annexation policy as the only means to ensure peaceful conflict resolution in Georgia and prevention of similar conflicts in the neighbourhood,” the MEPs urged.  

Confirming the EU’s strong commitment to contribute to the peaceful resolution of the Russo-Georgia War, the MEPs also condemned Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru and Syria for recognizing Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region, and called upon them to withdraw their recognition.  

The resolution denounced Russia’s continuous isolation of the two regions from the rest of Georgia “by closing additional crossing points, putting in place physical barriers along the administrative boundary line (ABL) and conducting a campaign aimed at eradicating Georgian culture,” and welcomed the new peace initiative of the Government of Georgia, aimed at improving the lives of people residing in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region.

Highlighting that Russia, “as a power exercising effective control over” the Georgian territories “bears full responsibility for severe violations of human rights and for the humanitarian situation on the ground,” the resolution further underscored that the basic human rights, including freedom of movement and residence, the right to property and the right of access to education in the native language, are being violated in the occupied regions, whereas illegal detentions and kidnappings continue to take place.

The resolution also calls on Russia “to end impunity and ethnically motivated crimes” in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region and “remove any obstacles to ensuring that the perpetrators of the illegal killing of Georgian internally displaced persons Archil Tatunashvili, Giga Otkhozoria and David Basharuli are brought to justice.”

Welcoming the Georgian parliament for adopting a bipartisan resolution on human rights violations in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region, the resolution “calls on the Member States and the Council to blacklist and impose national and EU-wide sanctions on those who appear or who may appear on the Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list.”

“Russia continues constructing new bases, bringing in new troops, putting fences and barbed wires across new parts of the region, and we let it happen,” MEP Jasenko Selimovic (Sweden, ALDE) addressed his colleagues in today’s plenary speech.

Stressing that “the EU should never ever forget Georgia,” Selimovic stressed that the EU “must do the utmost to urge Russia to implement its commitments undertaken under the six-point ceasefire plan and stop violating the sovereignty of Georgia.”

This post is also available in: Georgian Russian

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