EP members condemn Russian occupation, support Georgia’s territorial integrity

Agenda.ge, 13 Jun 2018 - 11:53, Tbilisi,Georgia

The high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and more than thirty European Parliament members from eight different political groups took part in discussions on Russian aggression in Georgia yesterday.

Most of the speakers condemned the Russian occupation and expressed their support for Georgia’s territorial integrity, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. MEPs also called on Russia to fulfil the 2008 ceasefire agreement, remove its troops from Georgian territories and stop the violation of people's’ rights on ethnic grounds there.

"We have, as the European Union, a very special role to play, particularly because of the EU Monitoring mission to Georgia. To date, we are the only international monitoring presence in the field. The mission has fulfilled an indispensable function of stabilisation, to the benefit of all the communities affected by the conflict,” the high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said during the discussions adding that the mission can currently count on over 200 civilian experts in areas adjacent to Georgia's territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia).

She said the European Union is denouncing the steps taken by Moscow to consolidate what it calls "new realities" on the ground.

"Among other things, we do not accept Russia's military build-up in the breakaway entities and its construction of physical barriers on the dividing lines. All our actions aim at improving the life of all people in the region. Together with the OSCE and the United Nations we continue to steer the Geneva international discussions to address the consequences of the conflict,” Mogherini said.

Watch the full speech by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the European Parliament plenary session on the conflict in Georgia below.

She also spoke about the new peace initiative by the Georgian government saying the EU is now looking at the possibility of providing further support.

"For instance, there is a clear interest from the breakaway regions to increase trade with the rest of Georgia, but also with the rest of the region. This would represent a major improvement for the life of local communities, and for all people in the wider region,” she said adding that EU is also considering a mobility scheme for academics from the breakaway regions.

As the Vice-President of the European Parliament Heidi Hautala said, August 8, 2018 served as a turning point for the international order as it made clear that Russia is ready to forcefully violate the territorial integrity of the neighboring countries.

On the other hand, the Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee at EP, David McAllister from the European People's Party said, the steps made by Russia aimed at annexation of Georgian regions are concerning. He called on Russia to fully comply with its obligations under ceasefire agreement.

Moreover, the Euronest Chair Rebecca Harms has said that in current situation, when Georgia refuses to resolve the conflict by force, "any compromise to Russia would be disastrous for Georgia.”

The EP resolution on "Georgia’s occupied territories ten years after Russian Aggression” will be voted on June 14.