U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday echoed the 15th Anniversary of the 2008 August War, saying “Fifteen years ago, Russia invaded the sovereign nation of Georgia and occupied 20 percent of its territory.”
In his statement, Antony Blinken stressed “The United States remains steadfast in our support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.”
“The lives of the conflict-affected populations have forever been altered by Russia’s actions. With deepest respect and heartfelt sympathy, we remember those killed, injured, and displaced by Russia’s forces.
Russia’s actions during its occupation, including the Kremlin’s malign disinformation campaigns, so-called “borderization,” and mass displacement still cause untold hardships. As in Ukraine, the people of Georgia have suffered the consequences of Russia’s contempt for international law and desire to dominate its neighbours.
The United States remains determined to hold Russia accountable for its obligation under the 2008 six-point ceasefire agreement to withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions and allow unimpeded access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Russia must also reverse its recognition of the so-called independence of Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions. These actions are essential for hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people to be able to return to their homes safely and live with dignity.
After fifteen years, the United States remains unwavering in our support for the people of Georgia and for their overwhelming desire for Euro-Atlantic integration, as they defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity, and seek a peaceful solution to the conflict,” reads the statement.