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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia


Statement of the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the armed attack on five young men which took place in the Sachkhere district on 18 May 2011

Five young men (aged 17, 21, 22, 26 and 27) from the village of Chalvani were picking capers in the Chonto valley (Sachkhere district), in the immediate vicinity of the occupation line, at about 8 a.m. on May 18, when representatives of the occupation regime in Tskhinvali tried to detain them. The young men managed to escape. However, their armed attackers opened fire on them. Two of them were wounded, of whom one - a 17-year-old pupil of a local school - still remains in a grave condition.

The Georgian side assesses this incident as being yet another criminal act of unjustifiable brutality committed by the occupation troops, an act which is responsible for an extreme escalation of the situation in the territories adjacent to Georgia's occupied regions. One should not forget that up to ten local citizens have been taken into custody by the Tskhinvali proxy regime, and that these people remain in prison despite the international community's insistent demands that they be released. Obviously, the Russian Federation and its proxy regimes continue to pursue their aggressive policy of destabilization designed to terrorize the local population. The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that all responsibility for the May 18 incident and for the fate of those detained rests with the Russian Federation as an occupying state. It is time for the Russian Federation to learn to comply with its own commitments and for it to be held responsible for the criminal acts carried out directly by the Russian troops or under their patronage.

Irresponsible and criminal acts perpetrated by the Russian occupation troops and the proxy regimes are an important factor in causing instability. Of special interest is the fact that, following a series of terrorist acts masterminded from the occupied territories, the occupation forces have now switched to a new style of provocation. Such incidents should be held to be gross violations perpetrated by the Russian Federation of the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement as well as of universally-recognized norms and principles of international law. The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affair calls upon the Russian Federation to immediately start complying with the 12 August agreement and to take active steps in order to investigate and prevent terrorist acts and similar incidents. A first tangible step in this direction would be taken if the Russian Federation would commit to the non-use of force with respect to Georgia and would provide access to Georgia's occupied territories for international police and peacekeeping forces. It is only through considerable international presence that similar incidents can be avoided and that security and stability can be achieved in the occupied regions and their adjacent territories.

The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also calls upon the international community duly assess this latest incident. The Georgian side will raise the issue of terrorist acts, criminal incidents and the illegal detention of persons at the Geneva discussions and during the forthcoming meeting of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms, and will categorically demand that the Russian Federation put an end to such provocative and destabilizing actions.


Tbilisi, 18 May 2011



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