UNSC Members Reiterate Support to Georgia amid 12th Anniversary of August War

In a joint statement to mark 12 years since the Russo-Georgian War of August 2008, eight current and incoming members of the UN Security Council – Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States as well as Ireland and Norway expressed their firm support towards Georgia’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. 

“The continuing Russian military presence in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as well as Russian recognition of the so-called independence of these regions violates the territorial integrity of Georgia and undermines Georgia’s sovereignty, as well as the Rules Base International Order,” the joint statement highlighted.

The statement reads that “we remember those who died and those who lost their homes, and regret that little progress has been made towards resolving the conflict since concluding the Agreements of August 12 and 8 September 2008.”

Calling on Russia to fully implement obligation and commitments under the Agreements of August 12 and 8 September 2008, the eight signatories noted that Russia’s continued military presence in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions “further divides communities and puts at risk the health and lives of the conflict-affected population.”

In the joint statement, eight countries said they are “extremely concerned about the intensification of the so-called “borderization process” over the past year, including during the global COVID-19 pandemic.”

They further stated that “throughout the already challenging time, the de-facto authorities exercising effective control over the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have continued the practice of arbitrary detentions along the Administrative Boundary Lines.” The statement also noted that occupied Tskhinvali authorities “have repeatedly denied emergency medical evacuations and incoming humanitarian aid.”

In the UNSC statement, eight nations also expressed their concern about the “ongoing disinformation campaign by Russia about the pandemic and related health issues as well as false propaganda about the life-saving work of the Lugar Center.”

The joint stakeout stressed that these “acts prolonging the conflict, threaten peace and stability, interfere with the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and negatively impact the health and safety of people across Georgia, destabilizing the region as a whole.”

The UNSC members then reiterated their support and respect for “the protection of human rights, including the rights of forcibly displaced persons, as well as the importance of enabling their safe, voluntary, dignified and unhindered return to their homes in accordance with international law.”

The group also said that “despite the initial promise of significant progress towards reconciliation, we regret the lack of commitment on the part of the Russian Federation and resulting lack of progress achieved in the Geneva International Discussions.”

“We remain steadfast in our support for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Georgia and encourage all parties to redouble their efforts withing the Geneva International Discussions,” the joint statement concluded.

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