OSCE Permanent Council condemns 'borderisation' in Georgia

  • A group of 15 countries has released a joint statement condemning Russia's occupation of Georgian regions of ABkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia). Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge

Agenda.ge, 6 Sep 2019 - 01:00, Tbilisi,Georgia

The OSCE Permanent Council has made a statement on recent developments in the occupied regions of Georgia on behalf of 15 countries. 

Ambassador Aurimas Taurantas, Permanent Representative of Lithuania to the OSCE has condemned the recent illegal elections in occupied Abkhazia, “borderisation” in Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region, as well as ethnic discrimination of Georgians in both regions and reiterated support to Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

The Permanent Council discussed the “Recent Developments on Georgia's Occupied Territories” on September 5. 

Georgia’s Ambassador to Austria Davit Dondua thanked all of the countries for their “unwavering support for his country's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and Government's peaceful conflict resolution policy”.

The United States Ambassador to OSCE James S. Gilmore said although the US "fully subscribes to the joint statement made by the Group of Friends of Georgia", but it also wants to speak as well in their "national capacity".

The United States fully supports Georgia’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, as well as Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations", the US statement says.

Russia’s efforts to rewrite historical facts and create a false narrative again undermine efforts to resolve the conflict, and will not succeed", it further reads.

The US like Canada, is troubled by reports of the resumption of installation of fencing near the occupation line with Tskhinvali region.

Urging for the immediate halt of construction of new fencing and other barriers, US calls on Russia:

  • to suspend its occupation of 20 percent of Georgian territory 
  • to withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions
  • to allow unfettered access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance in accordance with its commitment under the 2008 ceasefire agreement.

The US Ambassador further notes that his country "continues to monitor recent reports of a military buildup by Russia" near the occupation line with Tskhinvali region and "will expose violations of Georgia’s sovereignty".

He then welcomed the recent meeting between the members of the Georgian government and occupation forces of the de-facto Tskhinvali region and Russia "to defuse tensions" and called on all sides "to avoid further escalation".

The US also calls on Russia to utilise all available channels to prevent further escalation of the conflict and to withdraw its forces from Georgia.