Foreign officials support Georgia’s territorial integrity, condemn Russia’s aggression on 15th anniversary of 2008 invasion

  • Charles Michel, the European Council President, on Monday said the European Union was standing with the “courageous people” of Georgia who had chosen a “pro-EU and pro-NATO path”. Photo: MOD of Georgia

Agenda.ge, 7 Aug 2023 - 15:20, Tbilisi,Georgia

Foreign government officials, dignitaries of international organisations and diplomats on Monday expressed their support for Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty and condemned Russia’s 2008 aggression against it in comments over the 15th anniversary of the conflict.

Charles Michel, the European Council President, on Monday said the European Union was standing with the “courageous people” of Georgia who had chosen a “pro-EU and pro-NATO path”.

“It's been 15 years since Russia’s invasion of Georgia. 15 years later, the EU's support to Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty remains steadfast”, Michel said in the social media message.

 

The United States mission to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe marked the date by noting Georgian citizens in the Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region were living under a Russian occupation, with many displaced and persecuted for decades.

“Russia’s 2008 attack is a sombre reminder of those who continue to suffer in the wake of Russia’s invasions of Georgia and Ukraine”, the mission said.

 

The Council of Europe “firmly” rejected Russia’s recognition of the independence of the two regions, as well as its military presence in them, in what it called a “blatant violation” of fundamental principles and norms of international law.

 

The Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas stressed the West must end Russia's “cycle of aggression” and vowed her country’s support for Georgia's territorial integrity.

“15 years ago today, Russia started its aggression against Georgia. 20 percent of Georgian territory remains occupied. Atrocities and violation of international law continue. We must end Russia's cycle of aggression. Estonia continues to support Georgia's territorial integrity”, the Estonian official said.

 

The Swedish Embassy called on Russia to respect international law and fulfil its commitments under the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008.

 

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda condemned Russia’s occupation of Georgia’s territory that started following the war.

“We have always supported Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Today, Ukraine is defending its freedom from the same aggressor. We call on Russia to withdraw its forces from territories of Georgia and Ukraine”, he noted.

 

The Ukrainian foreign office noted the country was standing with the Georgian people and reiterated its support for the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

 

The Danish foreign office said the 2008 date had marked a “new phase” of Russia’s aggression against neighbouring countries.

“Denmark condemns Russia’s illegal military presence in the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia. We firmly support Georgia’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity”, the Ministry said.

 

The United States Embassy in Tbilisi honoured the memory of the dead from the conflict and remembered the heroes "whose names add strength to the Georgian people".

The Georgian foreign office on Monday highlighted a “serious threat to the security architecture” of the wider region and Europe posed by the 2008 intervention of Russia into Georgia, in comments over the 15th anniversary of the aggression that sparked that year’s war between the two countries.

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