Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the illegal installations along the occupation line of Tskhinvali region

Published in Politics
Monday, 20 April 2020 12:51

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia strongly condemns the illegal process of erection of so-called “border” signs at the occupation line of Tskhinvali region, namely in the vicinity of the village Takhtisdziri of Kareli Municipality. The installation of artificial barriers by the occupation forces already entailed the loss of access to the agricultural lands for the local inhabitants.

With this kind of provocative actions in the circumstances of the Coronavirus pandemic, and moreover, during the religious holidays before the Orthodox Easter, the Russian Federation deliberately attempts to escalate the situation and further aggravate the security environment on the ground. With these steps Russia and its occupation regime are creating unbearable circumstances for the conflict-affected local population, who have been already suffering from the grave humanitarian consequences of the Russian occupation. Several people living in Tskhinvali region have already fallen victims to the closure of so-called crossing points and restriction of the freedom of movement by the occupation regime, as they were not given the possibility to cross the occupation line and get the necessary medical treatment on the Georgian Government controlled territory.

This kind of destructive steps are especially concerning in the times when the whole world is trying to fight the spread of the infection caused by the Coronavirus. In these critical circumstances, we attach particular importance to show the care and commitment to the conflict-affected population, who have long been suffering from the intensified pressure and discrimination.

The Government of Georgia spears no effort with the aim to improve the security and human rights situation on the ground. We remain in close coordination with the Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions and the EU Monitoring Mission in order to ensure cessation of the illegal process of erecting the artificial barriers along the occupation line, and achieve freedom of movement for the people living in the occupation territories.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls upon the Russian Federation to immediately cease the provocative and destructive actions and implement its international obligations, inter alia 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 and take effective measures to counter the illegal process along the occupation line.

The Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the so-called parliamentary elections in occupied Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 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.

David Dondua comments on the meeting with EU Ambassador to Georgia

Published in Politics
Thursday, 18 May 2017 12:59

The European Union’s position with respect to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia is clearly manifested in a great number of its statements and official comments, including in the statement issued on 8 April by the European Union External Action Service on the so-called presidential elections and the referendum conducted in Georgia’s occupied Tskhinvali region. 
Statements like those made by the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis and the Co-chair of the Geneva International Discussions are totally unacceptable and contradict the European Union’s policy and position with respect to Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The International community has unequivocally condemned the so-called presidential elections and the referendum conducted in the occupied Tskhinvali region

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 11 April 2017 16:03

International organizations, as well as officials of various countries made statements, on behalf of their respective governments, in reaction to the so-called presidential elections and the referendum conducted in the occupied Tskhinvali region.  
The U.S. Department of State condemns the illegitimate elections and the referendum held in Georgia’s occupied territories. “These illegitimate elections and referenda are being conducted in Georgian territory without the consent of the government of Georgia. The United States fully supports the territorial integrity of Georgia and its sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders. Our position on Abkhazia and South Ossetia is clear and consistent. These regions are integral parts of Georgia” – reads the statement.
Accoring to Maya Kocijancic,  Press Secretary of the High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union Federica Mogerini, The European Union does not recognise the framework in which the so-called Presidential elections and the referendum on amending the name of the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia are due to take place on 9 April.
The European Union reaffirms its commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Georgia, including through its co-chairmanship of the Geneva International Discussions and the EU Monitoring Mission. “NATO does not recognize the so-called presidential elections nor the so-called referendum held in the South Ossetia region of Georgia this Sunday.
Unilateral steps to change the name or status of the region are detrimental to the efforts to find a lasting settlement of the situation in Georgia.
NATO Allies do not recognize the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions of Georgia as independent states” – reads the official statement of NATO. The Foreign Ministries of Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Finland, Lithuania and Estonia also condemned the latest developments in the Tskhinvali region on their official tweets.

Foreign Ministry's statement on the so-called elections in occupied Tskhinvali Region

Published in Politics
Monday, 10 April 2017 10:50

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia condemns the so-called presidential elections and referendum that are being held on 9 April 2017 in occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, Georgia. According to the international law, any so-called elections or referendum in the occupied territories of Georgia are illegal and cannot have any legal effect. This provocative act by the Russian occupation forces grossly violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and represents yet another attempt to legitimize the consequences of several waves of ethnic cleansing, military invasion and ongoing occupation of Georgian regions.
Holding the so-called referendum on changing the name of one of the oldest Georgian regions into “Republic of South Ossetia — State of Alania” that is similar to one of the federal subjects of the Russian Federation aims at laying the ground for its illegal annexation. This intention has been vividly demonstrated also by recently signed so-called agreement on incorporation of the unlawful military units of the Tskhinvali region into the armed forces of the Russian Federation.  
By such provocative actions, the Russian Federation intentionally impedes the efforts of peaceful conflict resolution, including within the Geneva International Discussions and hinders the confidence building between the communities divided by occupation lines.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia appeals to the international community to give a due assessment to the illegal so-called elections and referendum and calls upon the Russian Federation to respect the fundamental principles of international law and withdraw its military forces from the Georgian territory.
 

The Statement of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the so-called parliamentary elections in occupied Abkhazia region

Published in Politics
Monday, 13 March 2017 13:59
The so-called parliamentary elections are being held in occupied Abkhazia region of Georgia. This act represents yet another attempt of legitimization of consequences of several waves of ethnic cleansing, military invasion, occupation and lasting aggression by Russia against the Georgian statehood. Hence, according to the international law, any so-called elections or referendum in the occupied territories of Georgia are illegal and cannot have any legal effect. The so-called elections take place in the context when the Russian Federation does not comply with its obligations under the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and in parallel with intensified military build-up continues the factual annexation of Georgia’s occupied regions through their integration into Russia’s military, political, economic and social system. At the same time, people displaced from Georgia's occupied territories are deprived of the right to return to the places of their residence whereas the population remaining in these regions suffer ethnic discrimination and gross violations of basic rights and freedoms. Against this background, international security and human rights mechanisms, including representatives of the EU Monitoring Mission are denied access to occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions of Georgia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia appeals to the international community to give a due assessment to the illegal so-called parliamentary elections and calls upon the Russian Federation to respect the fundamental norms and principles of international law.

The President of Georgia and the President of the Republic of Belarus Hold a Tete-a-Tete Meeting

Published in Politics
Thursday, 02 March 2017 11:25
As a part of the official visit to the Republic of Belarus, the President of Georgia, H.E. Giorgi Margvelashvili has held a tete-a-tete meeting with the President of the Republic of Belarus, H.E. Aleksandr Lukashenko. The meeting was mainly focused on the prospects of further strengthening cooperation in political, trade-economic, and cultural areas. One of the main talking points was the issues of regional security. The parties have also discussed the situation in the occupied territories of Georgia. President Margvelashvili has thanked President Lukashenko for his support of Georgia’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, and non-recognition policy. According to President Margvelashvili, by signing the so-called Treaty on Alliance and Integration, the Russian Federation has begun annexation of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region. If conducted, the announced referendum on integrating Tskhinvali to the Russian Federation will have extremely negative outcomes for the security of Georgia and the entire region. President Margvelashvili has underscored the extreme importance of the international community’s firm position in regard to illegal actions taken by the Russian Federation, in order to avoid annexation of the occupied territories of Georgia. The President of Georgia has expressed concern on the fact that Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region are still inaccessible for the international community and the European Union Monitoring Mission is the only international mechanism on site, which, despite the mandate, is not allowed to enter the occupied territories of Georgia. This further worsens the situation of human rights. The conversation has also touched upon the incident that took place on May 19, 2016 in the village Khurcha. The parties have also discussed the growing dynamics of economic and trade relations between Georgia and the Republic of Belarus and the importance of further strengthening this cooperation. According to President Margvelashvili, Georgian side expresses readiness to share its experience in regard to economic reforms, e-governance, and fight against corruption with Belarusian colleagues. As noted at the meeting, the Republic of Belarus is interested in those opportunities, which Georgia opens up for its partners through the Free Trade Area Agreement (DCFTA) and active cooperation with other regions. The two presidents have also expressed their readiness to strengthen cooperation in the areas of education and innovation. As highlighted at the meeting, opening of the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus to Georgia, announced in April, 2015 during President Lukashenko's visit to Georgia, significantly contributes to the further development of bilateral relations between the two countries. The parties have expressed hope that this visit will further strengthen the existing relationship between Georgia and the Republic of Belarus.

Comment by the Press and Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

Published in Politics
Thursday, 03 November 2016 16:34

The ratification, on 2 November 2016, of the so-called agreement between the Russian Federation and Sokhumi occupation regime on the creation of “joint group of military forces”, adopted in November 2015, has been considered in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as yet another unlawful episode of factual annexation process of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali Regions.
The creation of such formation was envisaged by so-called “treaty on alliance and strategic partnership”, signed in November 2014. The entire process vividly demonstrates that the Russian Federation pursues the policy of creeping annexation of Georgia’s occupied regions. This is in complete contravention to the established international order and undermines fundamental principles of the UN Charter and Helsinki Final Act, such as the inviolability of the internationally recognized borders and the respect of territorial integrity of a sovereign state.
By signing and ratifying the document a year later, Russia once again violated the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, which is all the more disturbing, given the absence of international mechanisms in the occupied regions and the continued refusal by the Russia Federation to take the non-use of force pledge.
The creation of the so-called “joint group of armed forces” in Abkhazia, against the backdrop of continued military build-up and constant military drills in the occupied territories, further aggravates the already difficult security situation on the ground and significantly threatens the stability of the entire region.
The Government of Georgia will consolidate its diplomatic efforts in response to the provocative steps by the Russian Federation in all available international formats, be it bilateral relations with our partners or multilateral diplomacy, in order to ensure a proper assessment of Russia’s illegal actions and efficient measures by the international community for providing peace and security in the region.

 

Giorgi Kvirikashvili addresses UN Delegates of a High Level Meeting on Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 20 September 2016 10:20

Georgia will continue to contribute to international efforts in addressing large movements of migrants and refugees - regardless of our small size or our own security challenges. - was a key note message in the speech delivered by H.E. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia at a High Level Meeting on Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants held at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters today. Prime Minister also noted that 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was launched one year ago, from that very UN tribune, with a pledge that "no one will be left behind".
"With this statement the UN Member States committed to address the consequences of a migrant crisis which was already leaving millions stranded. Yet forced displacement has since then only increased, with a staggering 300 million international migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons registered this year. Against this backdrop conflicts and insecurity in parts of Africa and the Middle East continue to drive mass exodus, and the death toll of migrants crossing borders continues to climb. Millions globally are still at risk of being left behind" noted the Prime Minister of Georgia.
Head of the Government of Georgia stressed that burden of forced displacement has not bypassed Georgia.
Since the early 90s, Georgia's regions of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia have witnessed several waves of ethnic cleansing under occupation by the Russian Federation. Approximately 400 000 persons have been forcibly displaced - when Georgia's entire population makes up only 4 million. Prospects of their safe return are grim with ongoing creeping annexation and installation of barbed wire fences along the occupation line. Meanwhile, ethnic Georgians in the occupied territories continue to suffer from daily discrimination. It is simply not possible to turn a blind eye to this, and to what is going on worldwide" added the Prime Minister of Georgia.
As noted by the Head of Government, Georgia has already received more than 4 000 asylum seekers from various parts of the world, e.g Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Egypt, and Somalia. Georgian Universities offer educational programs for students from displaced communities. "We are committed to continuing our assistance in the educational sphere, together with interested partners, including donor countries or organisations that can provide financial support to this initiative" added the Prime Minister of Georgia.
In his opinion, International Organisation for Migration, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and other international agencies have made immense efforts to alleviate the plight of victims. But the gravity of the situation requires a coordinated political response - the situation now is unprecedented. "We need to address the root causes of forced displacement to ensure the situation does not get out of control. We need to be proactive rather than reactive, prevent escalation of conflicts and preclude further waves of displacement. The question is: where do we start? Violation of international law is one of the root causes of conflicts. If we make sure that all actors abide by the law and strictly observe their commitments, we can start moving towards a more peaceful world. We can start preventing crises and the mass exodus that ensues from the millions affected. At the Istanbul World Humanitarian Summit this May we committed to promote a new approach and support the emergence of safe, dignified, and durable solutions for refugees and internally displaced persons. The right to safe return is a basic human right and it must be guaranteed, irrespective of political differences" concluded the Prime Minister of Georgia.

Davit Zalkaliani has commented on the possibility of holding a referendum in the occupied Tskhinvali region

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 15:10

Georgian First Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani answered a question of journalists regarding the plans of the Tskhinvali region authorities to hold a referendum on the possibility of joining the Russian Federation.
“The idea of referendum on joining Russia has been floating around in the recent period. According to the leader of the Tskhinvali occupation regime, the referendum is due to be held before August 2016, which will allow the so-called president to decide single-handedly the issue of accession to Russia.     
According to international law, no referendum whatsoever in Georgia’s occupied territories will have any legal force until the Russian Federation continues to exercise its effective control in Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region and a large part of the native population remains displaced from these regions.
Any statement relating to either referendum or incorporation of the Tskhinvali region into the Russian Federation represents an attempt to continue the ongoing illegal processes in Georgia’s occupied territories, and first of all, the process of actual annexation of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region, bears a provocative character and serves the goal of influencing the political developments taking place in Georgia.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls upon the Russian Federation to refrain from further escalating the already difficult security and humanitarian situation in Georgia’s occupied territories and fulfil its commitments under the Ceasefire Agreement of 12 August 2008.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia urges the international community to duly assess the consequences and challenges that may result from the possible referendum in the occupied Tskhinvali region on joining Russia and to take respective measures to prevent the annexation of Georgia’s occupied territories” – Davit Zalkaliani said.  

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