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Draft of Resolution on Georgia Initiated in U.S. Senate
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 11 Dec.'10 / 14:28

Draft

S.RES.698

A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate with respect to the territorial integrity of Georgia and the situation within Georgia's internationally recognized borders

Whereas, since 1993, the territorial integrity of Georgia has been reaffirmed by the international community and 36 United Nations Security Council resolutions;

Whereas the Helsinki Final Act resulting from the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe in 1975 states that parties ‘‘shall regard as inviolable all one another’s frontiers’’ and that ‘‘participating States will likewise refrain from making each other’s territory the object of military occupation’’;

Whereas the United States-Georgia Strategic Charter, signed on January 9, 2009, underscores that ‘‘support for each other’s sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders constitutes the foundation of our bilateral relations’’;

Whereas, in October 2010, at the meeting of the United States-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership, Secretary of State Clinton stated, ‘‘The United States will not waiver in its support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity’’;

Whereas the White House released a fact sheet on July 24, 2010, calling for ‘‘Russia to end its occupation of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia’’ and for ‘‘a return of international observers to the two occupied regions of Georgia’’;

Whereas Vice President Joseph Biden stated in Tbilisi in July 2009 that the United States ‘‘will not recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states’’ and went on to ‘‘urge the world not to recognize [Abkhazia and South Ossetia] as independent states’’;

Whereas the August 2008 conflict between the Governments of Russia and Georgia resulted in civilian and military causalities, the violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia, and large numbers of internally-displaced persons;

Whereas the August 12, 2008, ceasefire agreement, agreed to by the Governments of Russia and Georgia, provides that all Russian troops shall be withdrawn to pre-conflict positions;

Whereas the August 12, 2008, ceasefire agreement provides that free access shall be granted to organizations providing humanitarian assistance in regions affected by violence in August 2008; 
 
Whereas the International Crisis Group concluded in its June 7, 2010, report on South Ossetia that ‘‘Moscow has not kept important ceasefire commitments and some 20,000 ethnic Georgians from the region remain forcibly displaced’’;

Whereas Human Rights Watch concluded in its World Report 2010 that ‘‘Russia continued to exercise effective control over South Ossetia and. . . Abkhazia, preventing international observers’ access and vetoing international missions working there’’;

Whereas, in October 2010, Russian troops withdrew from the small Georgian village of Perevi;

Whereas the withdrawal of Russian troops from Perevi is a positive step, but it does not constitute compliance with the terms of the August 2008 Russia-Georgia ceasefire agreement;

Whereas, on November 23, 2010, before the European Parliament, Georgian President Saakashvili committed Georgia to not use force to restore control over the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia;

Whereas Secretary of State Clinton stated in Tbilisi on July 5, 2010, ‘‘We continue to call for Russia to abide by the August 2008 cease-fire commitment. . . including ending the occupation and withdrawing Russian troops from South Ossetia and Abkhazia to their pre-conflict positions.’’;

Whereas the Russian Federation vetoed the extension of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Georgia and the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia, forcing the missions to withdraw from the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia;
 
Whereas Russian troops stationed in the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia continue to be present without a mandate from the United Nations or other multilateral organizations;

Whereas the Senate supports United States efforts to develop a productive relationship with the Russian Federation in areas of mutual interest, including non-proliferation and arms control, cooperation concerning the failure of the Government of Iran to meet its international obligations with regard to its nuclear programs, counter-terrorism, Afghanistan, anti-piracy, economics and trade, and others; and

Whereas the Senate agrees that these efforts must not compromise longstanding United States policy, principles of the Helsinki Final Act, and United States support for United States allies and partners worldwide: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate

(1) affirms that it is the policy of the United States to support the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Georgia and the inviolability of its borders and to recognize the areas of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as regions of Georgia occupied by the Russian Federation;

(2) calls upon the Government of Russia to take steps to fulfill all the terms and conditions of the 2008 ceasefire agreements, including returning military forces to pre-war positions and ensuring access to international humanitarian aid to all those affected by the conflict;

(3) urges the Government of Russia and the de facto authorities in the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia to allow for the full and dignified return of internally-displaced persons and international observer missions to the territories of Abkhazia and
South Ossetia;

(4) supports constructive engagement and confidence-building measures between the Government of Georgia and the de facto authorities in the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia; and

(5) affirms that the path to lasting stability in this region is through peaceful means and long-term diplomatic and political dialogue.

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