On August 7, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia released a statement on the 12th anniversary of “Russia’s large-scale military aggression against Georgia in August 2008 and the subsequent illegal occupation of Georgia’s indivisible regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia.”
“This illegal attempt to forcibly redraw sovereign borders in Europe was a blatant violation of the fundamental norms and principles of international law, which has seriously undermined the rules-based international system and endangered the entire European security,” highlighted Georgia’s Foreign Service.
The Ministry called on Russia to stop “illegal and provocative actions against Georgia,” to pull its forces out of the Georgian soil, to comply with the ceasefire agreement of August 12, and to reverse its illegal decision on recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions.
As stated in the statement, contrary to complying with the EU-mediated ceasefire agreement, Russia “intensifies the illegal militarization of Georgia’s occupied regions and takes steps towards their de-facto annexation.”
The Ministry noted with concern that erecting barbed wires and other artificial barriers across the occupation line have become an everyday reality, accompanied by arbitrary detentions and kidnappings of the locals.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry then decried Russia’s continued “provocative actions” and “active use of hybrid warfare instruments against Georgia” amid coronavirus pandemic. It also noted with concern that “Moscow’s disinformation campaign” targeted the Lugar Public Health Research Center, as well as the EU Monitoring Mission.
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It stressed that despite UN Secretary General’s plea to Global Ceasefire amid the COVID pandemic, the Russian occupation forces have shot and detained Georgian citizen Zaza Gakheladze, who remains in illegal custody in Tskhinvali.
The Foreign Ministry also spoke of grave violations of human rights in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, ethnic discrimination, as well as breaching the right to return for hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons that remain “a heavy humanitarian burden” caused by the Russian occupation.
In this context, the Ministry highlighted that encouraging impunity over the facts of deprivation of life of Davit Basharuli, Giga Otkhozoria and Archil Tatunashvili increases the threat of ethnic violence.
Despite grave humanitarian and security challenges, the Georgian Government and the Georgian people are committed to peace and sustainable development, the Foreign Ministry stated, adding that Georgia unwaveringly supports peaceful resolution of the conflict by using diplomatic and legal tools at its disposal.
The Ministry then appealed the international community to strengthen their efforts to help de-occupation of the Georgian regions and to help internally displaced persons return their homes.
- UK Foreign Office: Increased Russian Interference Worsens Rights Situation in Abkhazia, Tskhinvali
- State Dept Report: Russia Uses Abkhazia, Tskhinvali Conflicts to Complicate Georgia’s EU, NATO Aspirations