Foreign Ministry Says Russia Continues Occupation of Georgia

Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has released a statement regarding the 9th anniversary of the Georgia-Russia August 2008 war.

The MFA says that August 8 marks Russia's large-scale military invasion of Georgia, as well as the illegal occupation of the Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) regions.

The statement reads that after nine years of the August 2008 war, Russia still violates the August 12 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, and continues its policy of occupation and factual annexation with regard to inseparable regions of the sovereign state, in complete disregard for fundamental principles of international law.

“This envisages the illegal integration of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions of Georgia into Russia’s military, political, economic and social system; military build-up in the occupied regions, as well as the fortification of the occupation line by razor and barbed wire fences and other artificial barriers,” the statement reads.

The ministry says that the situation has been even more aggravated by the closure of four so-called crossing points in the Abkhazia region. The statement reads that following the restriction of Georgian language in Gali district schools, from the next academic year education in their native language will be prohibited in the Georgian schools of the Tskhinvali region as well.

“Ethnic discrimination towards Georgians living in the occupied territories and violation of their fundamental rights continue. While hundreds of thousands of people are expelled from their homes, the Russian occupation regime treats the remaining Georgian population in the Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions as foreigners in their houses,” the ministry stated.

MFA underlines that despite Russia’s provocative actions, the Government of Georgia continues its unwavering peace policy and strives for a peaceful conflict resolution through diplomatic means, negotiations and dialogue. 

“Georgia has many times confirmed its legally binding commitment on non-use of force, inter alia, on executive and legislative levels. Besides, the Government of Georgia resists barbwire fences and artificial barriers erected along the occupation line with intensified policy of building confidence and ties between the war-torn communities,” the statement reads.

Furthermore, the ministry says the Georgian side highly appreciates the firm support of partner countries and international organizations towards the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia, and their relevant decisions, which significantly contribute to the conflict resolution according to the norms and principles of international law.

By Thea Morrison

08 August 2017 12:27