The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, convened at the level of Deputy Ministers on May 2, adopted a decision on the conflict in Georgia, reiterating “the unequivocal support” of the Council of Europe member states for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The decision reads that more than ten years after the conflict between the Russian Federation and Georgia, the former still “continues to impede the peaceful conflict resolution process and undermines the security and stability in the region,” including through “increased military exercises and infrastructure reinforcements.”
The Committee called upon the Russian Federation to comply with the August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement, including through “withdrawal of military and security forces from the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia and allowing the establishment of an international security mechanism on the ground.”
The Committee “deeply regretted” that despite the “constant calls” to “reverse this process,” Moscow “continues installing razor and barbed wire fences and other artificial obstacles along the administrative boundary lines (ABLs), dividing families and communities, violating human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
The deputy ministers also expressed “profound concern” over further deterioration of the human rights situation in Georgia’s occupied regions, including “with regard to the right to life, the right to freedom of movement, the right to property, the right to education in native language and the right to liberty and security.”
They also expressed their concern over restrictions on crossings in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions this winter, “intensified discrimination” of Georgians on the grounds of ethnicity, “recurrent and continuous” arbitrary detentions, and impunity surrounding the deaths of ethnic Georgians – Archil Tatunashvili, Davit Basharuli, Giga Otkhozoria and Irakli Kvaratskhelia.
They also “reconfirmed the high priority of an effective use” of the Geneva International Discussions, and urged the participants of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) to resume meetings in Gali “in full respect of the founding principles.”
The Committee encouraged the Secretary General to continue the submission of his biannual consolidated reports on the conflict in Georgia to the Committee of Ministers.