The Delegation of the European Union to Georgia has condemned the ongoing occupation of two of Georgia's regions by the Russian military on the anniversary of the 2008 war between the two countries.
On August 7, the date marking 11 years since the conflict that resulted in occupation of Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) and Abkhazia by Russian troops and recognition of their independence by the Russian government, the local EU representation released its statement "in agreement with the EU Heads of mission in Georgia".
The delegation said Russia had "not only maintained but increased its military presence" in both occupied regions since the war in violation of international law and the August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement that Russia signed.
Fundamental human rights of the conflict-affected population continue to be violated, including through restrictions on freedom of movement by so-called ’borderisation’, temporary closures of crossing points and illegal detentions and through the violation of the right to safe and dignified return of internally displaced persons and refugees", the statement said.
The European representation also noted "displacement and trauma" to "thousands of people" as a result of conflicts in Georgia since the 1990s, stressing an increase in its efforts to support their peaceful resolution.
The European Union will continue these efforts, including through the activities of the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, its engagement as co-chair in the Geneva International Discussions, and the continued presence of the EU Monitoring mission, the only international monitoring mission on the ground", the EU delegation noted.
The statement also reiterated the EU's support for the territorial integrity of Georgia, as recognised by the international community.
The government and the public in Georgia marked 11 years since the war on Wednesday. The five-day conflict erupted in the Tskhinvali region and resulted in hundreds of military and civilian casualties as the Georgian Armed Forces fought the invading Russian military.
Georgia and Russia have had no direct diplomatic relations since the war.