Tbilisi will not withdraw an interstate application lodged against Russia to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Georgian officials said on February 28.
Tbilisi wants Moscow to reimburse pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages for the alleged violation of the rights of hundreds of ethnic Georgians deported from the Russian Federation. Over 2,000 ethnic Georgians were deported from Russia in late September 2006 and early 2007 against the backdrop of Russo-Georgian tensions, which hit boiling point following a spy row between the two countries.
“We still believe that the rights of our citizens were violated and we continue to hold that position,” Nika Gvaramia, the Georgian justice minister, told Mze TV on February 28. Gvaramia was actually in charge of studying individual deportees' cases in early 2007.
The Russian side has sent a 235-page rebuttal to the ECHR, the Russian daily Kommersant reported on February 27. The newspaper suggested that Georgia might withdraw its complaint amid recent signs of improved bi-lateral relations.
Nino Burjanadze, the parliamentary chairperson, however, said on February 28 that although Georgia wanted to improve relations with Russia, it would “not [happen] at the expense of the interests of Georgian citizens.”