Georgian leaders and opposition politicians have reacted to the verdict by the European Court of Human Rights over Georgia vs Russia Case (ii), that held Russia responsible for the breach of a number of articles of the European Convention in connection to the 2008 Russo-Georgian War.
Below is a compilation of some of these reactions to the today’s judgement:
President Salome Zurabishvili: “Today is a very symbolic day, which I meet in Brussels, where very high level-meetings are taking place. It is very important that today, Strasbourg made this historic decision. It is historical and nothing is accidental. This is happening 100 years after our occupation, 30 years after we regained our independence and 12 years have passed since the 2008 war. This is very important, because for the first time in our history and for the first time in the history of other countries it happens that Georgia is legally justified, the state is recognized as a victim of this war and it is a great achievement for our country, our society, our history and our future. It is the pillar on which we must now build our future and our union.”
Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia: “Today is a day of crucial importance in the recent history of Georgia! The dispute – Georgia against Russia, ended with the victory of Georgia in the European Court of Human Rights! This is a common victory!”
Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze: “Georgia has won a historic legal victory! The decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ended the long-standing interstate [legal] dispute in the case of “Georgia vs. Russia,” which unequivocally confirmed that Georgia and its people were victims of Russian aggression in 2008… The decision of the Strasbourg court has further strengthened our belief in the restoration of justice. This is the first legal assessment of the 2008 Russia-Georgia war by international courts and represents an important step towards restoring justice… Georgia continues the legal and peaceful path to end the occupation and restore territorial integrity! “
Foreign Minister & Deputy Prime Minister David Zalkaliani: “The decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of the 2008 Russia-Georgia war is an unprecedented international victory for the Georgian state, which unequivocally and legally proved the responsibility of the Russian Federation for violations of international norms and fundamental human rights during and after the August 2008 Russia-Georgia war. The decision of the Strasbourg court is the first international legal assessment of the military aggression carried out by Russia against Georgia, which legally confirmed Russia’s blame in the crimes committed by it, namely, the Strasbourg court ruled unequivocally Russia’s occupation and effective control of Georgian territories, violations of the ceasefire agreement of August 12 2008, Russia’s responsibility for violating the right of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons and refugees to return to their homes, as well as the fact that in August 2008 there was an armed conflict between Russia and Georgia. We are confident that this unprecedented decision will provide a serious basis for the success of our country in further legal and diplomatic efforts to protect the rights of people affected by the occupation of Georgian territories and the Russian-Georgian conflict.”
Justice Minister Gocha Lortkipanidze: “During the last hearing on the war case in the Strasbourg court, we promised that it would be a fight for truth and justice and there would be no compromise in this fight. Today, I can say that this promise has been fulfilled and Georgia has won the 12-year interstate dispute “Georgia vs. Russia.” The Strasbourg-based court ruled that Russia had committed and violated a number of articles of the Convention during the 2008 war. This decision was made, with 17 judges, by the Grand Chamber of the Court, which is not subject to appeal, and ruled that Russia exercised effective control over the Tskhinvali region and Abkhazia, and therefore held it liable for violating the rights of the Georgian people. Accordingly, the court upheld Georgia’s request that the Tskhinvali region and Abkhazia are integral parts of Georgia and occupied by Russia. At the same time, the court found that during the 2008 war, Russia carried out ethnic cleansing of Georgians, which is very important.”
Mikheil Saakashvili, Georgian President in 2004-2013, the United National Movement leader: “This is a victory for Georgia, for establishing the historical truth that Georgia was right […] and is a victim of aggression… This is the second victory of our government. The first, we won at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Of course, this is a historically very important victory and fact. We have big battles ahead, but in the end it will end with the de-occupation of Georgia and the unification of Georgia.”