Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the developments at the occupation line, close to the village Chorchana situated in the territory controlled by the government of GeorgiaFriday, 30 August 2019 17:48
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses concern about mobilisation of military equipment and personnel by the occupation forces at the occupation line, close to the village Chorchana situated in the territory controlled by the government of Georgia.
Such destructive actions, as wells as the totally unacceptable statements of the leaders of the occupation regime represent yet another provocation, which further aggravates the security environment and aims at destabilisation of the situation.
Georgia fully complies with the undertaken commitments, firmly pursues the peaceful conflict resolution policy and uses all the available diplomatic instruments in order to reach deescalation of the situation and stopping the illegal processes.
The Georgian side continues to inform the international community about the developments on the ground and works closely with the Co-chairmen of the Geneva International Discussions, the EUMM and the diplomatic corps accredited in Tbilisi.
At the same time the Georgian delegation raised the issue at the meeting of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism in Ergneti on the 29th of August.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls on the Russian Federation to cease such illegal actions, implement its international commitments, inter alia the 12 August, 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia appeals to the international community to give due reaction on the illegal developments at the occupation line and take the relevant measures to ensure these actions are ceased.
Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the so-called presidential elections in occupied Abkhazia regionMonday, 26 August 2019 15:49
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia refers to the conduct of the so-called presidential elections in occupied Abkhazia region, as another illegal act directed against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.
While hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons and refugees are expelled from Abkhazia region as a result of ethnic cleansing, and the occupying power fully controls the situation on the ground, it is obvious that in such circumstances the so-called elections cannot have any legal effect, as they fully contradict the fundamental norms and principles of international law.
It is evident that the so-called presidential elections represent yet another futile attempt to legitimize the ethnic cleansing, the ongoing illegal occupation and steps towards factual annexation of Abkhazia region. The international community will never accept the attempt of forceful change of sovereign borders of Georgia, as well as other illegal steps of Russia in terms of erection of barbed wire fences along the occupation line, military build-up and grave violations of fundamental human rights on the ground.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls on the Russian Federation to respect the undertaken international obligations, fulfil the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, and reverse its illegal decision on recognition of so-called independence of the occupied regions.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia also appeals to the international community to give a due assessment and take effective measures to counter the illegal processes taking place in the occupied territories.
Expert groups from the Georgia-Azerbaijan State Border Delimitation Commission are jointly carrying out works on the sections of the state border still remaining undefined. In particular, on 20 August, experts surveyed border areas near the village of Vakhtangisi and the David Gareji Monastery Complex. They examined the positions of the two commissions and presented their visions on the sections in question. The Georgian expert group clarified its position to the Azerbaijani side regarding the delimitation of the border section concerned. The results will be submitted to the co-chairs of the Commissions for further consideration.
Similar work is scheduled to be conducted on other disputed sections of the border. Experts’ working meeting at the first stage will last until 23 August and will be shortly followed by the second stage – visit to the yet-to-be-agreed sections of the border.
The expert meetings will be followed by a meeting between the two commissions in Tbilisi in September.
Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the 11th Anniversary of August 2008 Russia-Georgia WarThursday, 08 August 2019 11:18
7 August 2019 marks 11 years since the large-scale military invasionof the Russian Federation in Georgia and the illegal occupation of Georgia’s indivisible regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia.
The military aggression, committed 11 years ago in a blatant violation of the fundamental norms of international law, was an attempt to change the borders of the sovereign state forcibly that has constituted a serious threat to the region and European security system as whole.
The Russian Federation has still not implemented the EU mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and further violates the international obligations, despite the continuous calls of the international community. While showing the total disregard of the commitments undertaken by the Ceasefire Agreement on withdrawal of its troops from Georgia’s territory, Moscow is further enhancing its military presence on the ground and impedes creation of international security mechanisms in the occupied regions.
Moreover, Russia is undertaking steps towards de-facto annexation of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions along with the attempts to isolate the residents of the occupied territories from the rest of Georgia. With this aim, the Russian Federation continues installation of barbed wire fences and other artificial barriers, closure of so-called crossing points, restriction of freedom of movement and the practice of kidnapping and illegal detention of the local population, which constitute gross violations of the fundamental human rights and freedoms, and further aggravate already unbearable humanitarian and social-economic conditions of the conflict-affected people.
It is concerning that Georgians remained in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions are targets of oppression and discrimination on the ground of ethnicity, inter alia the prohibition of education in native Georgian language and insulting the dignity through enforcement to change their ethnic identity.
The cases of ethnically motivated torture and murder are further more alarming, which is vividly demonstrated by the facts of deprivation of life of Davit Basharuli, Giga Otkhozoria and Archil Tatunashvili. The sense of impunity that surrounds these cases allowed for the death of Irakli Kvaratskhelia in illegal detention at the Russian military base deployed in occupied Abkhazia region.
It is particularly deplorable that hundreds of thousands of IDPs and refugees, expelled from Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions as a result of multiple waves of ethnic cleansing, are still deprived of the possibility to return to their homes in safety and dignity.
Against this background, it is all the more evident that it is of utmost necessity that the EUMM enters the the occupied regions in full compliance with its mandate, and that the international human rights mechanisms are granted the unristricted access to Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions.
In response to these challenges, Georgia is unwaveringly pursuing the policy of peaceful resolution of the Russia-Georgia conflict through negotiations and de-escalation efforts. Georgia has fully implemented the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and has on many occasions unilaterally reaffirmed its commitment of observing the non-use of force pledge, still awaiting the reciprocity from the Russian side. While the Russian Federation is deliberately trying to undermine the peace negotiations formats, Georgia continues its constructive engagement in the Geneva International Discussions and spares no effort to address the security and humanitarian problems of people affected by Russia’s illegal occupation. At the same times, the Government of Georgia is undertaking steps to ensure the reconciliation and confidence building between the communities torn away by war and the occupation line, which has been clearly demonstrated by the peace initiative “A Step to a Better Future”.
Within the de-escalation efforts since 2012, specific steps have been undertaken to restore trade, economic and humanitarian relations with Russia, Georgia has made number of constructive decisions that however must be followed by relevant steps of Russia towards the conflict resolution.
The Georgian side highly values the international community’s firm support for its sovereignty and territorial integrity and contribution to the process of peaceful resolution of the Russia-Georgia conflict. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia appeals to the international community to consolidate efforts in order to ensure the de-occupation of Georgia’s territories by Russia and the safe and dignified return of IDPs and refugees.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls upon the Russian Federation to fulfil its obligations undertaken by the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, respect Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within the internationally recognized borders, reverse its illegal decision on recognition of the so-called independence of the occupied territories and undertake the relevant steps to settle the relations between Georgia and Russia with the aim to ensure the conflict resolution through dialogue, and peace in the region.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to use this opportunity and extend its deepest condolences to the families and relatives of the civilians and the soldiers who died heroically during the 2008 war.
Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the 48th round of the Geneva International DiscussionsMonday, 08 July 2019 11:25
The 48th round of the Geneva International Discussions was held on 2-3 July 2019. During the negotiations, imposition by the Russian Federation of the restrictive measures on Georgia and the severe consequences of the closure of the occupation line in Abkhazian region were raised with particular emphasis. The Georgian participants underlined the extreme necessity of de-escalation of the situation in this exacerbated context.
Throughout the negotiations, the representatives of Georgia extensively discussed the security and humanitarian challenges in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, as well as in the areas adjacent to the occupation line, which is a grave result of Russia's illegal occupation and steps towards de-facto annexation.
The Georgian participants raised the issue of Russia’s illegal military build-up and intensified military exercises in the occupied regions. They called upon the Russian Federation to fulfill the obligations under the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and withdraw its occupation forces from Georgia’s territory.
Special emphasis was placed on the severe humanitarian impact of the closure of so-called crossing points in Abkhazia region. The Co-Chairs, Co-Moderators and participants from the US and Georgia urged the Russian Federation to take immediate steps for re-opening the occupation line in Abkhazia region.
During the round, installation of barbed wire fences and various artificial barriers along the occupation line, kidnappings and illegal detentions of local population, as well as the restriction of freedom of movement and access to agricultural land plots were discussed, since they lead to further destabilization of the situation on the ground.
Particular attention was paid to the ethnic discrimination and acute humanitarian and socio-economic conditions of people residing in Gali and Akhalgori districts, as well as Kodori gorge. The representatives of Georgia once again pointed out the utmost need to ensure that Georgians living in the occupied territories are allowed to get education in their native language.
The important topic of the discussion was the necessity of execution of justice with regard to the cases of murder of Davit Basharuli, Giga Otkhozoria and Archil Tatunashvili. The Georgian participants paid special attention to the death of another citizen of Georgia, Irakli Kvaratskhelia, who died in the custody at the Russian illegal military base, and demanded from the Russian Federation to hand over immediately the materials of the case.
Throughout the negotiations the necessity of restoration of Gali Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) without any precondition was numerously underscored, as it is of crucial importance in light of the existing challenges.
Representatives of Georgia stressed that the Russian Federation must affirm and implement the non-use of force commitment, since Russia continues using force against Georgia through its illegal military presence in Georgia’s occupied territories. The emphasis was made on the need for creation of international security mechanisms in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions in order to achieve sustainable peace and security on the ground.
The participants from Georgia underlined the significance of substantial talks on the topic of safe and dignified return of internally displaced persons and refugees, who have been forcibly expelled from Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions as a result of ethnic cleansing. However, while discussing this issue, participants from Moscow, Sokhumi and Tskhinvali walked out of the negotiations, which once again demonstrates their destructive and irresponsible attitude towards this humanitarian topic of the agenda.
The next round of Geneva International Discussions will be held on 8-9 October 2019.
Geneva International Discussions were launched on the basis of the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement. Discussions are held within the frames of two Working Groups, where participants are represented in their individual capacity. In the first Working Group talks are focused on security and stability in the occupied territories of Georgia, while in second Working Group – on humanitarian and human rights situation in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, as well as on the issues related to safe and dignified return of IDPs and refugees to the places of their origin. The discussions are held with Co-Chairmanship of the EU, UN and OSCE, and participation of Georgia, the Russian Federation and the USA. The Head of the Provisional Administration of the former South Ossetian Autonomous District and the Chairman of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, as well as the representatives of the Sokhumi and Tskhinvali occupation regimes also attend the Working Groups.
What the Georgian society has witnessed today on Rustavi 2 is categorically unacceptable! I profoundly categorize this television message as a provocation and as that of containing the greatest threat against peace and security of Georgia.
I am confident that every citizen and friend of Georgia will isolate themselves from such an adventure. Every sensible person will view this fact as a manifestation of a politically utterly dangerous provocation.
It is a war of provocateurs against their homrland, a dirty and outrageous game putting security of the state and citizens at stake.
The Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the so-called parliamentary elections in occupied Tskhinvali region/South OssetiaTuesday, 11 June 2019 10:17
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia refers to the ongoing so-called parliamentary elections in occupied Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, which blatantly violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders. Any so-called elections held in the occupied territories are illegal and cannot have any legal effect, as they are in contradiction with the fundamental norms and principles of international law.
The above so-called elections represent yet another futile attempt by Russia and its occupation regime in Tskhinvali to legitimize the ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, the illegal occupation and forceful change of sovereign borders of Georgia. The so-called parliamentary elections are taking place in the context, when internally displaced persons and refuges, forcibly expelled from the occupied territories, continue to be deprived of the possibility to return to their homes, and while the people on the ground are forced to live under violations of basic human rights and freedoms. At the same time, the Russian Federation continues its military build-up, control and de-facto annexation of the occupied territories, in full disregard of the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia appeals to the international community to give a due assessment to the ongoing so-called parliamentary elections in the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, and calls upon the Russian Federation to fulfill undertaken international obligations and withdraw its military forces from Georgia’s territory.
"Foreign media has released the photos of cartridges of firearms, used in the course of a terrorist attack that took place in New Zealand. Symbols and inscriptions in various languages, including Georgian are inscribed on them. The State Security Service of Georgia has already established cooperation with the strategic partners, in order to receive information on the individuals detained, as well as the weapons seized in the course of the terrorist attack.
The State Security Service of Georgia expresses its condolences to the people of New Zealand over a terrorist attack," reads the statement.
The attacks in two mosques of New Zealand has killed at least 40. Four people are believed to be in custody, including three men and one woman. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said they were not on terror watch lists. Daily Mail has released photos, one of which shows the shooter's weapons marked with the names of other people who, according to the edition, have carried out attacks. The names are written in various languages, including Georgian. In particular, the weapons are marked in Georgian with the names of Davit Aghmashenebeli and Davit Soslani.
Statement on the development of the Black Sea-Caspian Sea International Transport Route signed in Bucharest
Bucharest hosted the joint meeting of the foreign ministers of Georgia, Romania, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan where Bucharest Statement on the development of Black Sea-Caspian Freight Transport Corridor was signed.
The Foreign Ministers of the four countries reaffirmed their political will with respect to the development of new transport corridors in the region.
Signing the Statement, the Ministers highlighted the importance of this transit route in connecting the east and the west. According to them, connecting Central Asia with Europe via the two seas is the shortest and the most cost-effective route out of available transport networks.
Special note was taken of the fact that Romania, as a member of the EU is involved in the development of the new route that will lead to the European Union’s further active participation in transport routes. Romania is the current EU Presidency. According to the Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu, the new route will take up a prominent place in the EU-Central Asia Co-operation Strategy that will be approved in summer 2019.
A quadrilateral expert working group will be established to conduct negotiations and collaborate all technical aspects, to optimize operational procedures and to facilitate work on harmonization of tariffs and simplification of customs procedures.
The sides emphasized the achieved progress in development of sea infrastructure, including the upgrading of the Poti Port and the development of the Anaklia Deep Sea Port.
The Georgian side emphasized that the strengthening of Georgia as the region’s logistical hub is one of the Government’s priorities. Various projects are implemented in this regard, including the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway, the East-West Highway Development Project, Lapis Lazuli Transport Corridor, Anaklia Deep Sea Port, Persian Gulf – Black Sea Transportation Corridor, Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, etc.
Black Sea-Caspian Sea International Transport Route was launched in Ashkhabad, on 24 and 25 October 2018.
Statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia D. Zalkaliani on banning the movement across the occupation line by the occupation regimesMonday, 21 January 2019 12:53
At the press briefing following the cabinet meeting the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, David Zalkaliani made a statement regarding the decision of Russian occupation regimes to ban the movement across the occupation line from January 2019.
“We call upon the Russian Federation and its occupation regimes to immediately open the so-called crossing points across the occupation line. First and foremost it is a humanitarian issue and gravely violates the fundamental right to freedom of movement”, – David Zalkaliani stated.
According to the Minister, the decision of the Russian occupation regime in Tskhinvali to introduce new discriminatory measures for Akhalgori population from February 2019 is another grave concern since it envisages additional restriction of free movement of ethnic Georgians living in Tskhinvali region.
David Zalkaliani stressed that the Co-Chairs of Geneva International Discussions are fully informed about the current situation in the occupied territories.
The Minister underlined that the government of Georgia will spare no efforts to facilitate ensuring the protection of the fundamental rights and improvement of the living conditions of the population on the ground through peaceful and diplomatic efforts.