On January 22, the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs, and Estonian MEP Marina Kaljurand released separate statements in support of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) verdict that held Russia responsible for the breach of a number of articles of the European Convention in connection to the 2008 Russo-Georgian War.
The U.S. Embassy said the ECHR ruling “adds further weight to the international community’s demand that Russia cease its blatant violations of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The Embassy expressed particular concern over “Russia’s attempts to control and exploit the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia through borderization, arbitrary detentions, restrictions of movement across the administrative boundary lines, and establishment of socio-economic and military “agreements” between Russia and the two Georgian regions.”
“These actions threaten the lives, culture, and personal freedoms of people living in these Georgian territories, and deny them the ability to exercise rights and access opportunities that should be available to all Georgian citizens,” the statement concluded.
Latvian FM Rinkēvičs welcomed the judgement and pointed to Russia’s responsibility for “unlawful detentions of Georgians,” “inhuman and degrading treatment” of war prisoners, as well as for the “expulsion of Georgians from their homes in South Ossetia.”
“Justice prevailed over policy,” MEP Marina Kaljurand said, describing the court’s decision as “historic.” She also reiterated that Russia violated international law and the European Convention on Human Rights in the 2008 Russo-Georgian war.
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