Killing of Georgian citizen “reminder” of Russian occupation’s impact on Georgian people - US Mission to OSCE

The US Mission to OSCE reiterated the country’s “strong support” for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. Photo:US Embassy Tbilisi, 17 Nov 2023 - 12:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

The United States Mission to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Thursday said the killing of Georgian citizen Tamaz Ginturi by Russian-controlled occupation forces earlier this month was a “reminder on how Russia’s continued occupation of Georgia’s territory impacts the people of Georgia”. 

Detailing the November 6 incident in central Georgia, in an occupied territory adjacent to the occupied Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region, the Mission said Ginturi was visiting a cemetery and a church near the village of Kirbali when Russian-controlled forces opened fire on his car.  

He was shot dead by Russia’s occupation forces for driving in his own country.  We condemn this killing”, the statement said and added “regrettably, Russia persists in fortifying the administrative boundary lines delineating its occupation of 20 percent of Georgia’s territory”. 

The Mission highlighted Russia had the obligation under international law to respect Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and withdraw its troops from the country as part of the 2008 ceasefire agreement brokered by the European Union following the Russia-Georgia war the same year. 

We once again call on Russia to fulfill its obligation under the 2008 EU-mediated ceasefire agreement to withdraw its forces to the pre-conflict positions.  We also call for complete and unrestricted access for humanitarian organizations to the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia”, the Mission said. 

It also hailed the efforts of the Co-Chairs of Geneva International Discussions, which addresses security and humanitarian consequences of the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict, and is headed by representatives of the OSCE, European Union and the United Nations. 

The Mission also welcomed the work of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism - a domestic platform to address humanitarian and security issues with the engagement of the Georgian Government and representatives of the de facto authorities in Tskhinvali - and reaffirmed its insistence on the “immediate resumption” of the operating of the other IPRM mechanism, for occupied Abkhazia, “without preconditions”.