European Union Delegation to the Council of Europe has released a special statement on the 10th anniversary of the Russian-Georgian conflict. The statement is signed by Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Macedonia, San Marino, Ukraine and Georgia.
The EU reiterates its deep concern about the continuing Russian illegal military presence, increased military exercises and infrastructure reinforcements in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
According to the statement, Russia’s recognition of the so-called independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia demonstrates a lack of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbours and for the rules-based international system.
The EU calls on the Russian Federation to fully implement the agreement of 12 August 2008 and the Implementing Measures of 8 September 2008, mediated by the European Union and to provide the EU Monitoring Mission with access to the regions.
The EU expresses its deep concern about the state of human rights situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
“The EU calls for a proper investigation into the tragic death of Archil Tatunashvili in February 2018 and for justice to be applied following the killing of Giga Otkhozoria in May 2016. Impunity is a matter of deep concern”, – the statement reads.
The EU is also deeply concerned by an intensification of the so-called borderisation process along the Administrative Boundary Lines (ABLs) and other numerous violations, including gross violations of rights related to freedom of movement, residence and to property, as well as the restriction of education in one’s native language.
According to statement, Georgia has strengthened its institutions and undertaken reforms with a view of strengthening its democratic stability and the EU welcomes the package of proposals “A Step to a Better Future” of the Georgian government that can benefit the citizens living on both sides of the Administrative Boundary Lines by facilitating trade, education and mobility.
“The EU regrets the continued refusal by Russia and participants from Tskhinvali and Sukhumi to engage on the topic of refugees and displaced persons in the Geneva International Discussions. The EU recalls that this topic is at the core of the mandate of the Geneva International Discussions”, – the statement reads.
The EU reconfirms its commitment to remain engaged and involved in stabilization and conflict resolution efforts in Georgia.