So-called parliamentary elections are being held in the occupied Abkhazia region of Georgia today.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that this act is yet another attempt at legitimizing the consequences of several waves of ethnic cleansing, military invasion, occupation and lasting aggression by Russia against Georgian statehood.
The ministry added that according to international law, any so-called elections or referendums in the occupied territories of Georgia are illegal and cannot have any legal effect.
"The so-called elections take place in the context when the Russian Federation does not comply with its obligations under the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and in parallel with intensified military build-up continues the factual annexation of Georgia’s occupied regions through their integration into Russia’s military, political, economic and social system”, the statement read.
"At the same time, people displaced from Georgia's occupied territories are deprived of the right to return to the places of their residence whereas the population remaining in these regions suffer ethnic discrimination and gross violations of basic rights and freedoms”.
The ministry noted that against this background, international security and human rights mechanisms, including representatives of the European Union Monitoring mission are denied access to the occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions of Georgia.
The ministry appealed to the international community to assess as illegal the so-called parliamentary elections and called upon the Russian Federation to respect the fundamental norms and principles of international law.