Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs marking 12 years since Russia’s aggression against Georgia

07.08.2020. 16:34

Marking twelve years since Russia’s military aggression against Georgia in August 2008, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia confirms its support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders and condemns the occupation of Georgia’s regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Latvia welcomes Georgia’s efforts at reaching a settlement with the residents of the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and condemns Russia’s actions aimed at including those regions in Russia’s economic, customs, social and security space.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemns the ongoing closure of border crossing points near the Administrative Boundary Lines between Georgia, and Abkhazia and South Ossetia, restricting the free movement of border area residents – Georgian citizens – and their detentions perpetrated by Abkhazian and South Ossetian authorities and supported by Russia. Illegal installation of border signs and fences on the Administrative Boundary Lines of Georgia and Abkhazia and Georgia and South Ossetia is not acceptable.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes that restrictions to free movement of border area population and the spread of disinformation using the global pandemic of COVID-19 as a smokescreen cannot be tolerated. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Abkhazia and South Ossetia has proved that those regions are especially vulnerable to global problems, as they have limited financial and medical resources and sources of objective information to fight the virus. Russia and the authorities of Abkhazia and South Ossetia must refrain from measures that would aggravate the situation and increase security risks in the region.

The European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM) has a significant role to play in reducing tension among the parties to the conflict, as well as stabilising and normalising the situation. Latvia has been supporting the mission with human resources since its establishment, and eight Latvian experts are currently working at the EUMM.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on all parties to the conflict to engage constructively in the Geneva International Discussions[1] aimed at a peaceful settlement of the conflict in order to achieve a solution satisfactory to all parties to the conflict.

Russia should honour all of its obligations under the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 ceasefire agreement, including the withdrawal of its forces to their positions prior to the outbreak of hostilities and the provision of free access for humanitarian assistance to these regions. We also call on Russia to reverse its recognition of the so-called independence of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia

 

Background information

In August 2008, a five-day war took place between Russia and Georgia. Several hundred people lost their lives as the result of the hostilities. On 12 August 2008, an EU-mediated six-point ceasefire agreement was signed by Georgia and Russia. Russia still has not fulfilled the 12 August 2008 agreement.

 

[1] The Geneva International Discussions are international talks, launched in 2008 to address the consequences of the Russo-Georgian War of August 2008. The Geneva process brings together representatives of Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russia, the United States, the UN, the OSCE and the EU. 

 


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