Georgia’s religious leader says Russia violated international law

Head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ilia II. Photo by, 02 Dec 2014 - 15:19, Tbilisi,Georgia

Head of the Georgian Orthodox Church Patriarch Ilia II is condemning the signing of the so-called ‘treaty’ between Moscow and the Sokhumi occupation regime and is calling the situation a "violation of international laws” by the Russian Federation.

Patriarch Ilia II believed the ‘Alliance and Strategic Partnership’ treaty that has been openly criticized by Georgia and the international community, even worsened the already complex political situation between Georgia and Russia and further distanced the Georgia and Abkhazian people.

"The agreement ignored internationally recognised principles, according to which the decision of the local indigenous population has to be considered. Everyone knows that in our case, the majority of those population have been displaced for more than 20 years thus these people did not participate in the decision making process of the fate of this territory,” the Patriarch said in a statement today.

The religious leader focused that Georgia had not had the opportunity to satisfy the religious requirements of the church congregation who lived in Abkhazia, which was a further of international laws. "Of course it is a very sad reality that we will never tolerate,” Patriarch Ilia II said.

"Sooner or later Georgia will regain a brotherly relationship with Abkhazian and Ossetians as well as territorial integrity because truth and justice will prevail.” Russia and breakaway Abkhazia signed the so-called treaty on November 24.

The deal will come into force on January 1, 2015. It outlined creating a "common defence and security space”, "implementing a coordinated foreign policy” and "establishing common social and economic area".

Georgian officials were confident the document was directed against Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity and constituted a further step taken by Russia towards the annexation of Georgia's occupied Abkhazia region.