The U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi and Delegation of the European Union to Georgia have released statements on August 7, marking 13 years since the outbreak of the Russo-Georgian War of August 2008.
U.S. Embassy Statement
The U.S. Embassy said “We stand with the people of Georgia living on both sides of the Administrative Boundary Lines and join them in calling for these communities, divided by Russian aggression, to be united once again.”
According to the Embassy, “Russia’s aggressive actions, including “borderization” and detention of Georgian citizens, have caused untold hardships,” adding that the human costs of the Russian occupation have been particularly grave during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Embassy also noted that as per 2008 ceasefire agreement Russia must withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions and allow unfettered access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and called on Moscow to reverse its recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. “It is essential for hundreds of thousands of IDPs to be able to return to their homes safely and with dignity.”
The U.S. Embassy stated they continue supporting the Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) and noted that the Gali IPRM must also be reinitiated.
Statement by the EU Delegation
The EU Delegation reiterated its condemnation of Russia’s recognition of and continued military presence in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia in violation of both international law and of its commitments under the 12 August 2008 agreement.
Noting that the European Union remains committed to upholding the human rights of all conflict-affected communities, it said these rights continue to be violated, including through ’borderization,’ closures of crossing points and illegal detentions. It stessed that the restrictions on their freedom of movement must end.
According to the EU Delegation, in addition, all past human rights violations, as noted by the European Court of Human Rights ruling on 21 January 2021, must be followed up through credible investigations and accountability to bring justice to the victims.
The EU delegation said it supports conflict resolution, including through the EU’s engagement as co-chair in the Geneva International Discussions, through the work of the EU Special Representative and, the EU Monitoring Mission.