Georgia’s MFA: 2008 Russia-Georgia truce unfulfilled

Gori, a city of Georgia during the Russia-Georgia war in August 2008; Photo by leli Blagonrarova, 08 Aug 2014 - 14:18, Tbilisi,Georgia

In full negligence of international obligations, barbed wire fences and other artificial obstacles are being installed across the occupation line, says Georgia Foreign Ministry (MFA) regarding the sixth anniversary of Russia’s aggression against Georgia, resulting in the August 2008 war.

The five-day conflict halted after a ceasefire agreement was made on August 12 however Georgia’s authority believed Russia had violated the agreement and provisions of the deal remained "disregarded and unfulfilled”.

"Occupation forces still exercise effective control over the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali. As a consequence, fundamental rights of the local population are severely violated and hundreds of thousands of victims of several waves of ethnic cleansing are deprived of the right to safe and dignified return to the places of their original residence,” Georgia’s MFA said in a statement today.

Georgia signed the ceasefire agreement, brokered by the-then President of France Nicolas Sarkozy, on August 15 which meant Russian troops must begin withdrawing from Georgian territory.

But this did not happen. Russian troops continued to control many Georgian villages in breakaway Tskhinvali region despite pledges of a withdrawal.

Since the clash, Russian forces have installed barbed wire fences and other artificial obstacles across the occupation line.

"[This] infringes civil, social and economic rights of local residents, primarily, their right to freedom of movement,” MFA said in its statement.

The Russia-Georgia war displaced 192,000 people. Many were able to return to their homes after the war but as of May 2014, more than 20,200 people remain displaced. Today, they continued to live in small settlements built specifically for internally displaced persons (IDPs) nearby Tbilisi.

Georgian authorities believed no progress had been made regarding several items discussed within the Geneva International Discussions, which launched after the August 2008 war, despite the efforts of Georgia and the Co-Chairs of the Discussions.

"Attempts to establish international mechanisms in the occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions are openly opposed; as a result, these territories have turned into ‘black holes’ and become ‘the most inaccessible places on earth’, as observed by the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights,” Georgia’s said MFA.

Six years after the August 2008 war, Georgian authorities have pledged to strive to deescalate tense relations with the Russian Federation and work towards peaceful settlement of conflict based on the fundamental principles of international law.

"Georgia has undertaken a number of concrete, substantial steps, including the launch of unconditional dialogue on the resumption of trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian relations with Russia. Alongside with the phased normalization of relations with Russia, the European and Euro-Atlantic integration remains at a core of Georgian foreign policy,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s Government said it would spare no effort to fulfill the choice and aspiration of the Georgian people and to make substantial steps towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

"Signing of the Association Agreement as well as the DCFTA is the best testimony to this,” the statement said.

The MFA also highlighted that Georgia’s Government stood strong in its belief that the development of a state based on shared democratic values was the best and most effective tool to restore territorial integrity.