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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

 

Statement of the Georgian Foreign Ministry in reaction to the opinions expressed by the Russian Foreign Minister during a high-level meeting of the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly on 27 September 2011

On 27 September 2011, in his speech to the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly, the Russian Foreign Minister, Mr. Sergei Lavrov, once again tried to accuse Georgia of starting the hostilities of August 2008 and once again confirmed Moscow's readiness to be "a guarantor of arrangements regarding the non-use of force between Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia"

With such statements, Russia is continuing its hypocritical and self-righteous attempts to assure the international community that it is a peacekeeper and not a party to the conflict, and that the Russian government is therefore capable of guaranteeing peace and security in the region. In doing so, Moscow is once again trying to create an illusion whereby the occupation regimes it has created in Georgia's occupied territories should be considered as being subject to international law. Mr. Lavrov's statement also unequivocally indicates that the Russian government is pursuing its attempts to establish so-called "lines of demarcation" and "exclusive spheres of influence" in Europe.

Since the day Georgia regained its independence, the Russian Federation has been continually and purposefully seeking to undermine Georgia's statehood, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and has regularly and blatantly been in breach of many fundamental principles and norms of international law. Russia cares nothing for bilateral and multilateral obligations, including provisions of the Ceasefire Agreement of 12 August 2008.

It should be noted that the Georgian government unilaterally expressed its willingness to abide by the principle of the non-use of force on 23 November 2010. Russia has not, however, responded in kind to date. The Russian Federation is obliged to renew the commitment it made - as part of the Ceasefire Agreement of 12 August 2008 - not to use force against Georgia, but the Russian government will, however, not be able to escape from this obligation by making statements such as the one Mr. Lavrov recently made. A commitment to the principle of the non-use of force, the establishment of international mechanisms to ensure the security of Georgia's occupied territories and the return of refugees and IDPs to their homes will be the main issues of the next (the 17th) round of the Geneva talks on 4 October 2011.

Mr. Lavrov's recent "peacekeeping" statement sounds particularly cynical when one considers the fact that Russia has deployed offensive forces in Georgia's occupied territories and that the Russian military are training these occupation troops, are rapidly building-up stocks of armaments and are voicing a lot of military rhetoric. Everyone will no doubt remember the member of the Russian State Duma Bagdasarov who spoke several days ago about the necessity of starting a war against Georgia before 2014.

Considering the above-mentioned facts, it is clear that the Russian Federation must - as soon as possible - renew its obligation under international law not to use force against Georgia. Only through such measures will Russia be able to slightly improve stability and security in the region.

Tbilisi, 28 September 2011

 
 

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