US Ambassador to OSCE: "Occupation of Abkhazia, South Ossetia by Russia is unacceptable"

In the letter Daniel Baer addressed Russia’s aggression in Georgia, the importance of the OSCE in the country and Georgia’s vast progress towards the EU and NATO., 02 Jun 2016 - 17:53, Tbilisi,Georgia

United States (US) Ambassador to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Daniel Baer released a long letter this afternoon in response to the speech by Georgian Foreign Minister at the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna, Austria. 

At the OSCE Permanent Council meeting earlier today Georgia’s Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze provided a wide-ranging analysis about the current situation in Georgia’s two occupied regions and highlighted the importance of the presence of international missions in and near the breakaway areas Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia). 

In the response letter, written by Baer and released on the official webpage of the US Mission to the OSCE, the American official spoke about Russia’s illegal activities on Georgian soil, the tough situation in and near Georgia’s occupied areas and the necessity of restoring the OSCE presence in Georgia. 

Russian security services, in coordination with the de facto authorities, are committed to a policy of ‘borderisation’ along the Administrative Boundary Lines (ABL), restricting individuals’ freedom of movement, and preventing international and humanitarian organisations from fully assisting those affected by the ongoing conflict,” Baer wrote. 

He stressed Russia’s OSCE commitments included the principles of respect for the rights inherent in sovereignty, the inviolability of frontiers, and the territorial integrity of states.

We continue to call on Russia to fulfill its obligations under the 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, including the withdrawal of all its forces to pre-conflict positions and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance. Decisions on Georgia’s future should be made by the citizens of Georgia and no one else,” he said. 

Baer stressed the US "would like to reiterate the need for the return of a meaningful OSCE presence to Georgia”. 

In the letter Baer also praised Georgia’s big role in protecting international peace and the country’s successful progress in moving towards the Euro-Atlantic space. 

The Ambassador highlighted the importance that the October Parliamentary Elections are held in compliance with high-level international standards and said he "looked forward” to the upcoming OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s 25th Annual Session in Tbilisi, scheduled for July 1-5. 

  • The OSCE Permanent Council is one of the main regular decision-making bodies of the Organisation, convenes weekly in Vienna to discuss developments in the OSCE area and to make appropriate decisions.
  • The OSCE is comprised of 57 states and is the world’s largest security-oriented intergovernmental organisation; 
  • The OSCE Mission to Georgia, established in 1992, assisted the Georgian government with conflict settlement, democratisation, human rights and rule of law. Russia stood against extension of the mission at the end of 2008, after the Russia-Georgia war that took place in August that year. 

 See the letter here.