US Embassy: Russia continues to encroach deeper into Georgia, trying to expand occupied territories meter by meter

The US Embassy to Georgia has responded to the 12th anniversary of the Russia-Georgia war. Photo: US Embassy, Tbilisi., 07 Aug 2020 - 13:12, Tbilisi,Georgia

The US Embassy to Georgia has responded to the 12th anniversary of the Russia-Georgia 2008 war, stating that ‘August 7 is a somber reminder of the thousands who have suffered and continue to suffer in the wake of Russia’s invasion.’ 

The embassy said the international community witnessed a ‘major Russian-led incursion’ last year, attempting to take control of hundreds of meters of additional Georgian territory near Chorchana-Tsnelisi. 

Russian-led security forces continue to encroach deeper into Georgian territory, trying to expand the occupied territories meter by meter,” said the embassy. 

The embassy stated that thousands of Georgians remain internally displaced and the people living in the currently Russian-occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions are deprived of fundamental human rights. 

Today, we remember residents forced out of their homes and forced to live as internally displaced persons. We remember innocent civilians who died because the de facto authorities closed the Administrative Boundary Lines (ABL) and denied them access to emergency medical care. We remember families torn apart and robbed of their livelihoods by illegal ‘borderization’ activities. As the whole world grapples with the effects of COVID-19, Georgia also suffers from the loss of trade between communities now cut off by arbitrary lines, further hampering economic recovery,” said the embassy.

The embassy said that Russia’s responsibilities under the 2008 ceasefire agreement are clear.

Russia must withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions and allow unfettered access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. We also call again on Russia to reverse its recognition of the so-called independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” said the embassy.

The statement reads that the US commitment to “our friends and partners in Georgia remains steadfast...we stand with the people of Georgia and join them in calling for these communities, divided by Russian aggression, to be united once again”.