The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on the 15th anniversary of Russia’s military aggression against Georgia in August 2008.
According to the MFA, on this anniversary, the Russian Federation persists in disregarding fundamental norms and principles of international law by maintaining its occupation of Georgia’s indivisible regions – Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia.
“Today, August 7, 2023, marks 15 years since the full-scale military intervention of the Russian Federation against Georgia in 2008. In August 2008, the Russian Federation carried out the first case of violation of a sovereign country’s territorial integrity and borders by force, posing a grave threat to the security architecture of the region and Europe at large. On this 15th anniversary, the Russian Federation continues to occupy Georgia’s indivisible regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia, disregarding fundamental norms and principles of international law, as evidenced by multiple decisions of international courts,” the statement reads.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs further asserts that the Russian Federation has failed to uphold the ceasefire agreement brokered by the European Union on August 12, 2008. Instead, it has expanded its illegal control over the occupied regions, erected artificial barriers, restricted the movement of affected populations, and conducted unlawful detentions, thereby exacerbating the security and humanitarian challenges on the ground.
The statement underlines that Russia’s actions in signing various so-called integrative agreements and memorandums with these regions contribute to its effective control over the occupied territories, isolating the population from the rest of Georgia and the international community. Despite the mandate of the EU monitoring mission, international human rights protection organizations and security mechanisms are denied access to these regions.
“Georgia remains engaged in the international negotiations held in Geneva, the sole format addressing the implementation of the August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement mediated by the European Union,” the statement reads.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that Georgia adheres to a policy of peaceful conflict resolution and is committed to employing diplomatic and legal tools alongside international partners to achieve de-occupation and peaceful development.
“The Georgian Government is actively engaged in initiatives aimed at fostering reconciliation and rebuilding trust among the divided societies along the occupation line, with the ultimate goal of shaping a shared European future. The nation expresses deep gratitude for the steadfast and unwavering support extended by the international community, emphasizing this support’s critical role in upholding Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The collaborative efforts of international partners have played a key role in advancing the peaceful resolution of the Russia-Georgia conflict,” MFA states.
The statement calls on the international community to continue its unified efforts toward conflict resolution, de-occupation of Georgian territories, the return of displaced persons and refugees, and overall peace and security.
Furthermore, the Ministry firmly calls upon the Russian Federation to uphold Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, fulfil its commitments to the European Union as stipulated in the ceasefire agreement of August 12, 2008, and withdraw its forces from Georgian territory.