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Tbilisi Condemns Moscow’s ‘Illegal Step’ on Combined Group of Forces
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 23 Nov.'16 / 17:14

The Georgian Foreign Ministry condemned “an illegal” and “provocative” step by the Russian Federation on establishing a Combined Group of Forces as “a demonstration of aggression against Georgia.”

“These kinds of provocative steps by the Russian Federation serve the purpose of ultimate annexation of the occupied regions of Georgia, which is a complete disregard of the fundamental principles and norms of international law and undermines the established international order,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said in its third official statement on this issue over the past year.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry said that this “illegal step” represents “a rude violation of the territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of the sovereign state, and a demonstration of aggression against Georgia.”

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on the Russian Federation to honor the undertaken obligations and fully comply with the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, withdraw its military units from the occupied territories of Georgia and ensure the establishment of international security arrangements in the Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions.,” it said.

Tbilisi also called on international community “to give a due assessment to the aggressive moves of the Russian Federation and take effective measures to avoid further aggravation of the security situation in the region.”

Russian President Vladimer Putin signed ratification of the treaty into law on November 22 after Russia’s State Duma and Federation Council ratified the treaty on November 2 and November 16, respectively; the breakaway region’s parliament ratified the same treaty in December 2015, a month after its signing.

The treaty will remain in force for 10 years with a possibility of automatic prolongation for a term of 5 years.

The group will combine the Russian military base deployed in Abkhazia as well as two separate Abkhaz motorized rifle battalions, artillery and aviation groups, as well as special purpose unit.

The U.S. Department of State said on November 22 that it does not recognize “the legitimacy of this so-called “treaty”, which does not constitute a valid international agreement” and called on Russia to fulfill all of its commitments under the 2008 ceasefire agreement.

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