The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement on August 7 on the occasion of 11th anniversary of the 2008 Russo-Georgian war and called on the Russian Federation to implement the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry further called on the Russian Federation to respect Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within the internationally recognized borders and reverse its illegal decision on recognition of the so-called independence of the occupied territories.
“While showing the total disregard of the commitments undertaken by the Ceasefire Agreement on withdrawal of its troops from Georgia’s territory, Moscow is further enhancing its military presence on the ground and impedes creation of international security mechanisms in the occupied regions,” the Foreign Ministry said.
It also expressed concern over installation of barbed wire fences and other artificial barriers, closure of so-called crossing points, restriction of freedom of movement and the practice of kidnapping and illegal detention of the local population, noting that Russia grossly violates fundamental human rights and further aggravates already “unbearable humanitarian and social-economic conditions of the conflict-affected people.”
“It is concerning that Georgians remained in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions are targets of oppression and discrimination on the ground of ethnicity, inter alia the prohibition of education in native Georgian language and insulting the dignity through enforcement to change their ethnic identity,” the statement reads.
The Ministry also stressed that “the cases of ethnically motivated torture and murder are further more alarming, which is vividly demonstrated by the facts of deprivation of life of Davit Basharuli, Giga Otkhozoria and Archil Tatunashvili.” “The sense of impunity that surrounds these cases allowed for the death of Irakli Kvaratskhelia in illegal detention at the Russian military base deployed in occupied Abkhazia region,” it added.
The Foreign Ministry said that the Georgian government is unwaveringly pursuing the policy of peaceful resolution of the Russia-Georgia conflict through negotiations and de-escalation efforts. “Georgia has fully implemented the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and has on many occasions unilaterally reaffirmed its commitment of observing the non-use of force pledge, still awaiting the reciprocity from the Russian side,” it noted.
“While the Russian Federation is deliberately trying to undermine the peace negotiations formats, Georgia continues its constructive engagement in the Geneva International Discussions and spares no effort to address the security and humanitarian problems of people affected by Russia’s illegal occupation,” the statement reads.
In its statement, the Foreign Ministry also called on the international community “to consolidate efforts in order to ensure the de-occupation of Georgia’s territories by Russia and the safe and dignified return of IDPs and refugees.”
The Foreign Ministry expressed condolences to the families of soldiers and civilians killed in the 2008 Russo-Georgian war.