Despite Georgian government’s “constructive measures”, Russia “continues the policy of creeping annexation”, the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement released on August 7 on the occasion of seventh anniversary of the 2008 war, adding that Tbilisi will continue policy of “de-escalation”.
“Seven years after the August 2008 war, 20% of Georgia’s territory remains under occupation, resulting in mass violations of fundamental rights of the local population and the hundreds of thousands of victims of ethnic cleansing, which are still denied the right to safe and dignified return,” the Georgian MFA said, accusing Russia of violating August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement.
“A clear illustration of that is the signature of the so-called ‘treaties’ on integration with the Sokhumi and Tskhinvali occupation regimes, the continuation of the installation of artificial obstacles along the occupation line and placement of banners marking the so-called ‘state border’,” it said. “Such actions violate not only the fundamental principles of international law, but infringes civil, social and economic rights of local residents, primarily, their right to the freedom of movement.”
The Foreign Ministry said that in recent years the Georgian government “undertaken a number of significant steps to de-escalate the conflict with Russia.”
These steps, it said, resulted “in the resumption of trade, cultural and humanitarian relations between the two countries.”
“The Government of Georgia will further continue the implementation of de-escalation policy and will use all the available diplomatic and political means to resolve the existing conflict only through peaceful means, based on the principle of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders,” the Foreign Ministry said.
It stressed the importance of the Geneva talks, which were launched after the August 2008 war, and reiterated to continue engage “constructively” in this negotiating format and to push for Russia to reciprocate Georgia’s unilateral non-use of force pledge.
“In the existing situation, firm and consistent support of international community is of utmost importance. Georgia expresses its gratitude and once again calls upon the international community to continue its firm support for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia,” the Foreign Ministry said.