Russian Federation was urged to refuse to recognize the so-called independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and to withdraw troops from the territory of Georgia, as Georgia Friends Group statement, dedicated to the 10th anniversary from the beginning of the Russian-Georgian conflict, says.
“We reaffirm our full support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. Ten years since the Russian military invasion of Georgia, we remain deeply concerned over the continued occupation of Georgian territories and underline the need for the peaceful resolution of the conflict, based on full respect for the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, and the fundamental norms and principles of international law,” the joint statement of 11 countries says.
Russia was called for refusing to recognize the so-called independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The representatives of OSCE member states expressed regret concerning the slowdown in discussing the humanitarian issues.
Georgia Friends Group expressed concern due to the escalation of Russia’s military presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and also urged Russia to withdraw forces and means from the mentioned occupied territories.
“We condemn the gross violations of rights related to freedom of movement and residence and to property, as well as the restriction of education in one’s native language. We underline that the so-called borderization through placement of artificial obstacles and fortifying the occupation line with barbed and razor wire fences, as well as closures of so-called crossing points, further aggravates the humanitarian situation on the ground,” the statement says.
Moreover, the countries expressed regret concerning the fact that the OSCE mission in Georgia was terminated in 2009 and supported the restoration of the mission’s activity in favor of the population which suffered from the conflict.
The Russian-Georgian war began in 2008. The conflict started with an armed confrontation in the South Ossetia where Russia’s and Abkhazia’s militants participated. On August 8, after the attacks at the Georgian villages, Georgia’s Armed Forces claimed intentions to restore “the constitutional order” and occupied a part of Tskhinvali.
On the same day, Russia got involved in the conflict on South Ossetia's side and sent in troops. The combat actions spread far away beyond South Ossetia on other Georgian and Abkhazian cities.
Reportedly, Edgars Rinkēvičs, Latvian Foreign Minister, stated that now Ukraine and Georgia are fighting for independence and security in Europe. He also said that the international law and order was violated in Georgia ten years ago and the world has to remember that.