Kaljurand said, “this much-awaited ruling highlights two important elements.”
“First, the ECHR acknowledges that the Russian Federation has been exercising continued, effective control over Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region / South Ossetia since August 12, 2008. Second, the ECHR establishes numerous grave violations of the European Convention of Human Rights by the Russian Federation during and in the war aftermath. Its failure to investigate war crimes and systematic human rights abuses in the occupied regions ever since, as well as its refusal to enable ethnic Georgians to return to their homes,” MEP noted.
Kaljurand added, “the Russian Federation must honor its international obligations and reverse its recognition of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.”
“As the power exercising effective control, it must grant unconditional access to the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM) to the occupied regions, following the EU-brokered six-point agreement that ended the war,” Kaljurand added.
The Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) delivered its judgment in the inter-State case of Georgia v. Russia (II) concerning the August War 2008 on January 21. The Grand Chamber judgment reads, “the Russian Federation had exercised “effective control” over South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and the “buffer zone” during the period from 12 August to 10 October 2008, the date of the official withdrawal of the Russian troops.” The Court concluded that “the events occurring after the cessation of hostilities – that is, following the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008 – had fallen within the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation. It found many violations of the Convention.”