President Margvelashvili Expresses Concern about Russian Border-Moving in the Village of Bershueti
The President of Georgia, H.E. Giorgi Margvelashvili expresses concern about Russia moving the border in the village of Bershueti, Gori district and hopes that the international community will instantly respond to this action.
The Advisor to the President for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Tengiz Pkhaladze has made this statement today.
"It is extremely important any action that violates Georgia’s territorial integrity to be strongly condemned. Georgia will use all diplomatic means to stop the creeping occupation.
On the order of the President, information about this incident of border-moving will be immediately delivered to our partners, friendly states, and international organizations and no act that violates Georgia’s territorial integrity will be left unanswered”, - stated Mr. Pkhaladze.
Turkmen-Russian high-level negotiations were held in Ashgabat
On the 7th of May 2019, Turkmen-Russian high-level negotiations were held in Ashgabat. The delegation of the Russian Federation headed by Deputy Chairman of the Government, Head of State Administration K.A.Chuychenko arrived to the country to participate in the talks.
In the first half of the day, the high guest was received by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. During the meeting, the parties discussed current issues related to Turkmen-Russian relations in political, trade-economic and cultural-humanitarian spheres.
Then, the 11th session of Intergovernmental Turkmen-Russian Commission on Economic Cooperation was held in the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.
During the session, the parties spoke about the key aspects of bilateral cooperation, particularly issues of trade and economic nature. The participants elaborated on the subjects related to the development of mutually beneficial cooperation between profile ministries and agencies of the two countries, implementation of agreements, as well as talked about the process of executing trade actions.
The parties considered the joint projects, issues related to the work of Russian companies on the territory of Turkmenistan, as well as prospects of cooperation in the industry, construction, transport, oil and gas, gas-chemical and electro-energy spheres.
Upon completion of the session, the ceremony of signing bilateral documents took place. These included: “Protocol of the 11th session of Intergovernmental Turkmen-Russian Commission on Economic Cooperation”, “Memorandum between the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Turkmenistan and the Government of Astrakhan region on establishing a Turkmen-Astrakhan Joint Council on commercial issues”, “Agreement between All-Russia State Institute of cinematography named after S.A.Gerasimov and State Committee of Turkmenistan for Television, Radiobroadcasting and Cinematography on Cooperation in the area of elevating the qualifications of Turkmen specialists”, “Agreement between the Federal State Budgetary Establishment ‘Moscow Helmholtz Research Institute of Eye Diseases” of the Ministry of Healthcare of Russian Federation and the Scientific-Clinical Centre of Eye Diseases of the State Medical University of Turkmenistan named after Murad Garriyev”.
It is worthwhile to note that the day before, on the 6th of May 2019, the meeting of experts of the two countries was held in the framework of preparations to the abovementioned meeting.
Ukraine says Russian coast guard fired on vessels in Black Sea
By The Associated Press: Two Ukrainian navy artillery boats and a tugboat were transiting from Odessa on the Black Sea to Mariupol in the Sea of Azov.
MOSCOW — The Ukrainian navy said Sunday that Russia’s coast guard opened fire on and seized three Ukrainian vessels and wounded two crew members in the Black Sea following a tense standoff off the coast of the Crimean Peninsula.
Ukraine's navy said that two of its vessels were struck and that Russian coast guard crews boarded them and a tugboat and seized them. The Russian Federal Security Service, known as the FSB and which is in charge of the coast guard, said that it has evidence that Ukraine was responsible for the clashes.
"There is irrefutable evidence that Kiev prepared and orchestrated provocations ... in the Black Sea," the FSB said in a statement. "These materials will soon be made public."
There have been growing tensions between Ukraine and Russia, which annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has steadily worked to increase its zone of control around the peninsula.
Earlier Sunday, Russia and Ukraine traded accusations over another incident involving the same three vessels, prompting Moscow to block passage through the Kerch Strait.
The Ukrainian vessels apparently wanted to travel through the strait to other ports in Ukraine, and Ukrainian authorities said they had given advance notice to the Russians.
The tensions began Sunday morning. Russia's coast guard said that the three Ukrainian vessels made an unauthorized crossing through Russian territorial waters, while Ukraine alleged that one of its boats was rammed by a Russian coast guard vessel.
The Kerch Strait is a narrow body of water nestled between Crimea and the Russian mainland.
The incident began after the Ukrainian navy claimed a Russian coast guard vessel rammed one of its tugboats, which was traveling with two Ukrainian navy artillery boats from Odessa on the Black Sea to Mariupol in the Sea of Azov, via the Kerch Strait.
"Russian coast guard vessels ... carried out openly aggressive actions against Ukrainian navy ships," the Ukrainian navy statement said. It said a Russian coast guard ship damaged the tugboat's engine, hull, side railing and a lifeboat.
The statement added that Russia had been informed in advance about the planned journey.
Russia then blocked off the strait.
The Kerch Strait is the only passage into the Sea of Azov beyond it. The strait is crossed by the recently completed Kerch Bridge, connecting Crimea to Russia. Transit under the bridge has been blocked by a tanker ship, and dozens of cargo ships awaiting passage are stuck.
Russia has not given any indication of how long it will keep the strait blocked off, but a long-term closure to civilian traffic would amount to an economic blockade of Ukrainian cities on the Azov coast. And Russia's Black Sea Fleet greatly outmatches the Ukrainian navy.
Ukrainian cities on the Sea of Azov include strategically vital centers such as Mariupol — the closest government-controlled city to Donetsk and Luhansk, the breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russia-backed separatists.
The FSB told Russian news agencies Sunday after the first incident that the Ukrainian ships held their course and violated Russian territorial waters. The FSB accused the Ukrainian navy of staging a provocation against Russia.
"Their goal is clear," an FSB statement said — "to create a conflict situation in the region." The statement didn't mention ramming a Ukrainian tugboat.
Though a 2003 treaty designates the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov as shared territorial waters, Russia has been asserting greater control over the passage since 2015.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in an earlier statement that Russia's actions were a violation of the U.N. Charter and international law, and pledged to "promptly inform our partners about Russia's aggressive actions."
"Such actions pose a threat to the security of all states in the Black Sea region," the statement said, "and therefore require a clear response from the international community."
Dmitry Kiselyov, a commentator on the state-controlled Rossiya channel, told viewers of his Sunday evening news program that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko — encouraged by the U.S. — is looking to pick a fight with Russia in the Black Sea.
The talk show host also said that the U.S. talked Poroshenko into staging a provocation against Russia as a means to disrupt the upcoming meeting between Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump at this week's Group of 20 summit in Argentina.
"What is happening now at the (Kerch) bridge threatens to turn into a very unpleasant story," Kiselyov warned.
-- The Associated Press
Joint statement of the Group of Friends of Georgia 10 years since the Russian military invasion of Georgia
This statement is made on behalf of Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States of America.
We reaffirm our full support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
Ten years since the Russian military invasion of Georgia, we remain deeply concerned over the continued occupation of Georgian territories and underline the need for the peaceful resolution of the conflict, based on full respect for the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, and the fundamental norms and principles of international law.
We urge the Russian Federation to reverse its recognition of the so-called independence of Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions.
In the ten years since the August 2008 war, Georgia has made progress in strengthening democracy and good governance, as well as in the process of European and Euro-Atlantic integration and economic development. It is disappointing that these benefits cannot be enjoyed by the residents of Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions. We believe a peaceful resolution of the Russia-Georgia conflict would have a transformative effect not only on Georgia but on the region as a whole.
We support the Geneva International Discussions (GID) as an important format to address the security, human rights, and humanitarian challenges stemming from the unresolved conflict.
Ten years after the establishment of the GID, we regret the lack of progress on the core issues of the discussions, including the non-use of force, establishing international security arrangements in Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions aimed at providing security and stability on the ground, and ensuring the safe and dignified return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) and refugees.
We call upon the Russian Federation to fully implement the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, inter alia to withdraw its forces from the occupied territories of Georgia.
We support the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs) in Gali and Ergneti and encourage the participants to find proper solutions for the safety and humanitarian needs of the conflict-affected population.
We condemn the conclusion of the so-called integration and alliance treaties by the Russian Federation with Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions, which constitutes a clear violation of the principles of international law by the Russian Federation and directly contradicts OSCE commitments.
We express our deep concern over the increase of Russian military exercises and its further military build-up in Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions.
We condemn the gross violations of rights related to freedom of movement and residence and to property, as well as the restriction of education in one’s native language. We underline that the so-called borderization through placement of artificial obstacles and fortifying the occupation line with barbed and razor wire fences, as well as closures of socalled crossing points, further aggravates the humanitarian situation on the ground.
We condemn the killing of Georgian IDPs Archil Tatunashvili, Giga Otkhozoria, and Davit Basharuli, and urge the Russian Federation, as the state exercising effective control over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, to remove any obstacles to bringing the perpetrators to justice.
In this context, we support preventive steps by Georgia aimed at eradication of the sense of impunity and aggravation of human rights in Georgia’s occupied regions, and we note the adoption of the Decree of the Government of Georgia on approval of the Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list based on the relevant Resolution of the Parliament of Georgia.
We remain deeply concerned over the ethnic discrimination in Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions and the mass destruction of houses of Georgian IDPs, illustrations of Russia’s purposeful policy aimed at completely erasing the traces of ethnic Georgian population and cultural heritage in the occupied regions.
We support the voluntary return of IDPs and refugees to the places of their origin in safety and dignity.
We call upon the Russian Federation to enable access by international human rights monitoring mechanisms to the occupied territories of Georgia.
We commend the efficient work and contribution of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) to prevent the escalation of tensions on the ground and call upon the Russian Federation to allow the EUMM to fully implement its mandate and enable the mission’s access to Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions.
We welcome Georgia’s compliance with the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and its unilateral commitment not to use force, and call on the Russian Federation to reciprocate, to affirm and implement a commitment not to use force against Georgia.
We support the new peace initiative of the Government of Georgia, ‘A Step to a Better Future’, aimed at improving the humanitarian and socio-economic conditions of people residing in Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions and fostering people-to-people contact and confidence building between divided communities to the benefit of all people.
We encourage the OSCE’s engagement in the process of finding a peaceful resolution to the Russia-Georgia conflict and support the implementation of confidence-building measures with an aim to rebuild trust and improve the living conditions of the conflict-affected communities.
We regret the closure of the OSCE mission to Georgia in 2009.
We encourage the OSCE participating States to agree on the opening of the OSCE cross-dimensional mission in Georgia for the benefit of the conflict-affected population, including a monitoring capacity able to operate unhindered across the occupation line. The mission will considerably strengthen the OSCE’s engagement in the GID and IPRMs, as well as in implementation of confidence-building measures.
The friends will continue to raise awareness of the conflict and the need for its peaceful resolution.
President Margvelashvili Expresses Sorrow over the Death of a Georgian Soldier in Afghanistan
The President of Georgia, H.E. Giorgi Margvelashvili has expressed sorrow over the death of the Junior Sergeant from Georgia, Mdinari Bebiashvili in Bagram airfield territory, Afghanistan. Mr. Bebiashvili was participating in the Resolute Support Mission.
"I bow before each and every person who serves the homeland; who has sacrificed own life; who has been separated from families.
I show my respect for these militaries and express gratitude on behalf of Georgian citizens”, - the statement of the President reads.
President Margvelashvili has shown support to the family members, friends and companions of the deceased.
He has also wished a rapid recovery to other Georgian soldiers, wounded in the Bargam attack, who receive medical assistance in Bagram airfield hospital.
Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of GeorgiaThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia expresses its deep concern over the illegal installation of a so-called border sign across the occupation line in the Tskhinvali region, in the area of Bershueti village, Gori district, as a result of which several local farmers’ agricultural lands have now partially fallen beyond the occupation line.This is a continuation of the illegal process of the so-called borderization, which not only restricts the fundamental rights of local residents but considerably damages the security situation on the ground and obstructs Georgia’s efforts to achieve peaceful resolution of the conflict.
Despite the international community’s repeated calls, the Russian Federation continues to grossly violate the principles of international law and its commitments undertaken under the Ceasefire Agreement of 12 August 2008.
This fact and the general situation in Georgia’s occupied regions and adjacent territories once again point to the necessity of establishing international security arrangements and creating human rights monitoring mechanisms on the ground.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls upon the international community to duly assess the situation in Georgia’s occupied territory and take respective measures to stop Russia’s illegal actions. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia will use all levers at its disposal, including within the framework of the Geneva International Discussions and international organizations, not to let the aforesaid action of Russia remain without due international assessment and reaction.