European Parliament adopts resolution on Georgia's occupied territories 10 years after Russian invasion
14 June, 2018
European Parliament adopts resolution on Georgia's occupied territories 10 years after Russian invasion
The European Parliament has unanimously adopted a resolution on Georgia’s occupied territories 10 years after the Russian invasion of 2008. The resolution says that the European Union reaffirms its unequivocal support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.

According to the resolution, 10 years after the Russian military aggression in Georgia of August 2008, the Russian Federation still continues its illegal occupation of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, undermining international law and the rules-based international system,
and is taking active steps towards the full annexation of both regions.

“Russia constantly reinforces its illegal military presence in Georgia's occupied territories by constructing new bases, bringing in new troops and equipment, and conducting military exercises. Russia continues to be in breach of its international obligations and refuses to implement the EU-mediated ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008; Russia continues to isolate both regions from the rest of the country by closing additional crossing points, putting in place physical barriers along the administrative boundary line (ABL) and conducting a campaign aimed at eradicating Georgian culture; This line is slowly but steadily being moved deeper into Tbilisi-controlled territory in a process known as 'borderisation', in some places coming very close to critical infrastructure such as gas pipelines; Hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons and refugees forcibly expelled from the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia as a result of several waves of ethnic cleansing continue to be deprived of their fundamental right to a safe and dignified return to their homes,” the Resolution reads.
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Strasbourg, France the European Parliament building

According to the document, basic human rights, including the right to freedom of movement and residence, to property and of access to native-language education, are being violated in the occupied regions of Georgia; whereas illegal detentions and kidnappings continue to take place. The resolution says that Russian Federation, as a power exercising effective control over the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, bears full responsibility for severe human rights violations and the humanitarian situation on the ground;

“The 2008 invasion was Russia's first major open attack on the European order; It was later followed by others, including the annexation of Crimea and the war in Eastern Ukraine; One of the goals of the Russian invasion was to change the situation on the ground and to thwart Georgia's NATO membership promised during the Bucharest Summit earlier that year,” the Resolution says.

According to the document, the European Union reiterates its call on Russia to respect fully the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and the inviolability of its internationally recognised borders, to reverse its recognition of the separation of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, to end its occupation thereof and to reciprocate the commitment to the non-use of force vis-à-vis Georgia;

The resolution condemns Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Syria and Nauru for their recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and calls for this recognition to be withdrawn;

“Strongly condemns the systematic violations of the human rights of the citizens of Georgia by representatives of the Russian Federation's occupying forces, including murder, torture and kidnapping; welcomes, in this respect, the adoption by the Parliament of Georgia of the bi-partisan resolution which establishes a blacklist of persons responsible for such violations or for their cover-up (Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list) and calls on the Member States and the Council to blacklist and impose national or EU-wide sanctions on those who appear or who may appear on the Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list,” the document says.

The EU calls on the Russian Federation to fully implement the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008, putting an immediate stop to the process of 'borderisation' and the strengthening of its military presence in both occupied regions;

“Reminds the Russian Federation, as an occupying power, of its obligations towards the population and that it must cease violations of human rights, restrictions on freedom of movement and residence, discrimination on grounds of ethnicity, and infringement of the right to property and access to native-language education in the occupied territories of Georgia; Calls on the Russian Federation to allow the EUMM unconditional access to the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia as per its mandate; Condemns, in this regard, all steps taken by Russia towards the full annexation of the territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia;
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Map of Georgia, 20 percent of Georgian lands (Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South-Ossetia) remains occupied till now

Acknowledges that the failure to respond adequately to the Russian aggression against Georgia in 2008 prompted Russia to continue aggressive military and political campaigns, both in its neighbourhood and beyond, and by doing so to weaken and undermine the rules-based international order and stability in Europe and elsewhere,” the Resolution reads.

The document stresses that the international community must take a consistent, coordinated, united and firm stance against Russia's occupation and annexation policy as the only means to ensure peaceful conflict resolution in Georgia and prevention of similar conflicts in the neighbourhood.

Related stories:

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Vice-President Federica Mogherini's speech on Russian-Georgian conflict at the European Parliament

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