PM Garibashvili: I am reaching out to you all today to end illegal occupation of Georgian sovereign lands by Russia

“I am reaching out to you all today to put an end to the illegal occupation of Georgian sovereign lands by Russia,” Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili stated addressing the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

According to Garibashvili, Russia is seeking to undermine Georgia’s aspirations to join the European and Euro-Atlantic family in addition to occupying 20% of Georgian territory.

“As I have outlined, Georgia is on the move. We are on the right track. We are overcoming Covid and have a long term plan in place to strengthen our democracy, economy and society. Yet, I am reaching out to you all today to put an end to the illegal occupation of Georgian sovereign lands by Russia.

Not only is Russia occupying 20% of Georgian territory, but is also actively seeking to undermine our aspirations to join the European and Euro-Atlantic family.

While our commitment to be a true global citizen is unstoppable and cannot be hindered by outside forces, the very freedom we have fought so hard for is being challenged every single day.

On our very own soil in the Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, we are observing a humanitarian crisis, and the responsibility, of course, resides only with the occupying power,” Irakli Garibashvili stated.

Georgian PM called on the international community to address the violations of fundamental principles of international law in the occupied territories.

“This year, the European Court for Human Rights ruled its verdict and found the Russian Federation guilty of occupying and exercising effective control over two Georgian regions, and responsible for human rights violations in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.

Today, I call on the international community to act in concert to address the violations of fundamental principles of international law in the occupied territories. And with joint efforts, facilitate the implementation of the EU-mediated August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement.

Every day, Georgian land continues to be subject to, as we call it, creeping annexation and so-called borderization. This includes kidnappings, illegal detentions, unlawful restrictions on freedom of movement, and deprivation of the right to education in the native tongue – particularly in the Gali region. During COVID-19, this made medical evacuations virtually impossible.

All these actions carry an unbearable burden for those living on both sides of the razor-wired fences. This must be seen for what it is: a pre-planned ethnic cleansing to drive ethnic Georgians out. This must be stopped,” the Georgian Prime Minister concluded.

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