Diplomats and government officials from Europe took to Twitter this week to voice their support for Georgia's territorial integrity and condemn the ongoing Russian occupation of the country's regions on the 11th anniversary of the 2008 war.
Ambassadors and government members posted their statements on the occupation of Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) and Abkhazia, two regions recognised as independent by Moscow following the conflict and seeing Russian military presence.
The messages of support for Georgia include tweets from Latvian and Romanian foreign ministries on the eve of the anniversary:
Recalling the 2008 Russian military aggression in #Georgia, Latvia strongly— Latvian MFA (@Latvian_MFA) August 7, 2019
reiterates its support to Georgian sovereignty and territorial integrity within
its internationally recognized borders. ???????????????? @edgarsrinkevics @MFAgovge
As we mark the 11th Anniversary since the beginning of Russia’s agression against #Georgia, I reiterate #Latvia’s unwavering support for territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia, #Russia must end the occupation of parts of the Georgian territory and withdraw its troops— Edgars Rinkēvičs (@edgarsrinkevics) August 7, 2019
In other reactions to the date, Estonian foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu noted the increased troop presence from Russia in the regions since the war and human rights violations on the territories where the European Union Monitoring mission in Georgia observers are not allowed by local de-facto authorities:
Today 11 years ago, Russia started its military aggression against #Georgia. Despite the 2008 ceasefire agreement, ???????? has increased military presence in occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia, gross violation of human rights continues. International law must be followed. https://t.co/mVRD41K0AL— Urmas Reinsalu (@UrmasReinsalu) August 8, 2019
Voicing further support from eastern Europe, Aurimas Taurantas, Lithuania's representative to international organisations in Vienna stressed the yet-unfulfilled obligations Russia took up by signing the August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement that ended the five-day conflict:
We join our "Georgia|n friends in calling upon #Russia to fulfil its— Aurimas Taurantas (@ATaurantas) August 7, 2019
obligations of 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, respect
Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within the internationally
recognized borders https://t.co/AbQ2DTLR6F
Margot Wallström, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, joined and British MP Jonathan Djanogly also posted in support of Georgia's territorial integrity:
Today marks 11 years since Russia’s invasion of Georgia. Sweden remains staunch supporter of Georgia’s sovereignty & territorial integrity. Russian military presence in Abkhazia & South Ossetia continues in violation of int. law. Call on Russia to implement Six Point Plan of 2008— Margot Wallström (@margotwallstrom) August 7, 2019
11yrs passed since Russian illegal occupation of Abkhazia &Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia. Let us show continued support to Georgia's sovereignty, territorial integrity, european &euro-atlantic aspirations. @tberuch #GeorgiaAPPG— Jonathan Djanogly (@JDjanogly) August 7, 2019
The messages come as Georgia marks 11 years since the war that saw hundreds of casualties as the Georgian Armed Forces fought the invading Russian military.
The Georgian government and public were joined by the country's partners in the West, from a statement by the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia that stressed human rights violations in the two regions, to ambassadors supporting the internally displaced persons who had to leave their homes as a result of the 2008 conflict.