Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia has delivered an online speech for the 75th anniversary of the UN, where he stated that along with the pandemic challenge ‘Georgia has been facing a different, even more difficult challenge: the occupation of our territories’.
It is universally known that in 2008,Russia carried out open, large-scale military aggression against Georgia, containing which became possible as a result of the unwavering support of the international community, primarily the United States and the European Union.Here, at the UN headquarters, everyone is well aware that 20 percent of Georgia's integral territories—Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali Region—are occupied by Russia,” Gakharia said.
He stated that today, when the whole world is in war against the coronavirus, Russia continues the process of illegal borderization and provocations in the occupied territories.
Hybrid warfare tools are being used extensively, including disinformation attacks on the main facility of the national infrastructure for pandemic control—the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research,” Gakharia said.
He stated that Russia has yet to fulfill the August 12, 2008 Ceasefire Agreement brokered by the European Union.
Russia continues to disregard Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and the fundamental norms and principles of international law,” Gakharia said.
Gakharia stated that due to the Russian illegal activities on the Georgian territory, the people living in the occupied regions are in the state of humanitarian crisis.
They are deprived of access to their own homes and lands, forced to live in a reality in which passages are closed and families are further torn apart on a daily basis, with their freedom of movement, property rights, education rights, and access to basic medical services taken away. Local residents have been kidnapped, tortured, and killed,” Gakharia said, reminding the international community the names of the Georgian citizens who were killed by occupation forces - Giga Otkhozoria, Archil Tatunashvili, and Davit Basharuli.
Georgia will never accept occupation!
Gakharia callen on the international community to ‘adequately assess’ Russia’s illegal actions ‘so that we, through our joint efforts, may force it to comply with international norms and fulfill assumed obligations, including the August 12 agreement’.
Gakharia told the international community about the existing humanitarian crisis in Georgia's Russian occupied regions. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.
Gakharia urged Russia to adopt a \constructive position’ within the framework of the Geneva International Discussions, where, with the participation of the UN, OSCE, the European Union, and the United States of America, Georgia discusses the security and humanitarian issues related to Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali Region, such as Russia’s non-use of force against Georgia, the withdrawal of troops, the creation of international security mechanisms, and the return of IDPs and refugees to their homes.
Gakharia said that for its part, the government of Georgia 'is sparing no efforts’ to assist Georgian citizens living beyond the occupation line, citing the government’s peace initiative - A Step to a Better Future.
We are concerned about their fate, and we take an interest in improving the social and economic conditions on the ground, as well as in restoring direct ties between the communities on either side of the boundary line. Our goal is to develop said regions and improve the living conditions of their residents, to share with them every benefit and achievement available to us, including life in a peaceful, free, democratic, and corruption-free society as well as the opportunities offered by our ever closer relations with the European Union, such as free trade and visa-free travel,” Gakharia said.
He addressed the people living in the occupied regions, stating that ‘Georgia is willing and able to share all this with you.’
Gakharia expressed gratitude to the country’s partners and friends ‘for continuously standing by our side.’