UN Security Council members condemn Russia’s annexation of Georgian regions in lead up to 13th anniversary of 2008 war

The joint statement once again calls on Russia ‘to fully implement its obligation and commitments under the Agreements of 12 August.’ Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

Agenda.ge, 05 Aug 2021 - 15:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

UN Security Council Member countries have condemned ‘Russia’s illegal military presence’ and annexation of Georgian regions in the run up to the 13th anniversary of the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.

Estonia, France, Ireland, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States and Albania (incoming Security Council Member country) have expressed their unwavering support for ‘Georgia’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.’

We regret that the territorial integrity of Georgia continues to be violated by the Russian Federation,” reads the statement

The joint statement also says that despite the ongoing pandemic Russia continues its provocations on occupied Georgian regions, such as:

  • reinforced military presence and military exercises on Georgia’s territory.
  • intensified borderisation process.
  • arbitrary detentions.
  • local population members’ kidnappings.
  • restriction of freedom of movement.
  • discrimination against ethnic Georgians in Georgia's Russian-occupied Gali and Akhalgori districts.
  • prohibition on education in residents’ native language.

UN Security Council Members called on the immediate release of Irakli Bebua who was illegally sentenced to nine years of imprisonment for burning the flag of the Russian-occupied Abkhazia region in late 2020 and ‘other citizens of Georgia still unjustly held in detention.’

The statement also recalled the judgment of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on January 21, 2021, noting that ‘Russia has been responsible for grave human rights violations including the killing of civilians’ in the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. 

We remain deeply worried that in the past several years no international human rights monitoring mechanism has been granted unrestricted access to the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” the joint statement says. 

UN Security Council also stressed the importance of various international negotiating platforms such as Geneva International Discussions (GID) and the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs) which ‘address the security, humanitarian and human rights challenges stemming from the unresolved Russia-Georgia conflict.’

The joint statement once again calls on Russia ‘to fully implement its obligation and commitments under the Agreements of 12 August.’

We [UN Security Council] call once again on the Russian Federation … to withdraw its military and security forces without delay and reverse its recognition of the so-called independence of Georgia’s territories Abkhazia and South Ossetia (Tskhinvali region),” UN Security Council countries stated. 

Russia-Georgia war began in early August of 2008 and led to the occupation of 20 per cent of Georgia.