UN Ambassadors support Georgia, call on Russia to withdraw forces on 11th anniversary of 2008 Russia-Georgia war

  • Russia recognised independence of two Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali after the 2008 Russia-Georgia war. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge

Agenda.ge, 8 Aug 2019 - 23:47, Tbilisi,Georgia

The permanent representatives of Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States to the United Nations released a joint statement on the eleventh anniversary of 2008 Russia-Georgia war.

Karen Van Vlierberge, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Belgium to UN read out the statement on behalf of other Security Council members.

We firmly support Georgia’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders”, she stated. 

Ambassador Van Vlierberge also underscored that Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region and "the deepening of its security relationship with both de facto authorities demonstrate a lack of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbors and for the rules-based international order”.

The UN Ambassadors said that they “are extremely concerned about the intensification of the so-called borderisation process”. They consider that “these acts prolong the conflict, while destabilising Georgia and the region as a whole”. 

Therefore, they again called on Russia “to fully implement” its international obligations, which includes commitments:

  • to ensure that armed forces withdraw to positions held before hostilities began
  • to establish an international security mechanism

They also reiterate their support “for the respect and protection of the human rights of IDPs and refugees in particular with regard to their voluntary, safe, dignified and unhindered return to their homes in accordance with international law”. 

The statement further underscores that the topic of refugees and IDPs “is at the core of the mandate of the Geneva International Discussions”. However, “despite the initial promise of progress towards reconciliation, we regret the lack of commitment and progress achieved in this format”.

The ambassadors call on the authorities “exercising effective control” over the two Russian occupied regions of Georgia “to facilitate access to these regions for the relevant humanitarian and human rights actors”.

They“remain steadfast” in their  support for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Georgia and encourage all parties “to redouble their efforts within the Geneva International Discussions”.

August 8, 2008 is the most tragic day in the recent history of Georgia when the five-day war between Russia and Georgia claimed the lives of 412 people,  including 170 military servicemen, 14 policemen and 228 civilians.

Georgian national flags were flying at half-mast on August 7 and 8 on all government buildings across the country as well as on diplomatic missions abroad.