The international community comments on the 15th anniversary of the "August War" between Russia and Georgia
15th anniversary of the “August war” in Georgia
International partners of Georgia have commented on the 15th anniversary of the “August War” between Russia and Georgia. They expressed support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Members of the international community spoke about endorsing Georgia’s chosen path towards the European Union and NATO.
The statement from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was disseminated by the U.S. State Department. The text emphasizes that it has been 15 years since the armed invasion and the occupation of 20 percent of Georgia’s territory. Throughout this time, the United States has continued to uphold Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within internationally recognized borders.
“Russia’s actions have forever changed the lives of people affected by the conflict. With the utmost respect, we remember the fallen, extend our sympathy to the wounded, and stand in solidarity with the displaced,” stated Blinken’s statement.
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U.S. Secretary of State also reminded of the Kremlin’s disinformation campaigns and mass displacements of people from conflict-affected territories. Blinken emphasizes that both the Georgian and Ukrainian peoples have become victims of Russia’s disrespect for international law and its desire to dominate its neighbors.
“The United States firmly stands on the position that Russia must comply with the six-point agreement signed in 2008 and withdraw its troops to the positions that existed before the conflict began. Russia must also renounce the recognition of the so-called independence of Georgia’s regions — Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons must have the opportunity to return home. The U.S. remains steadfast in its support for the Georgian people and their unwavering aspirations for Euro-Atlantic integration,” said Anthony Blinken.
President of the European Council, Charles Michel, also notes that 15 years after Russia’s invasion of Georgia, the EU’s support for Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty remains unwavering.
“We support the courageous Georgian people who have chosen the path of the European Union and NATO,” writes Michel.
High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, responded to the anniversary of the “August War”:
“The European Union’s commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Georgia is stronger than ever. We condemn the ongoing presence of Russian armed forces in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.”
Representatives of the U.S. Mission to the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) noted that 15 years ago, Russia invaded Georgia, and for decades, Georgian citizens have been living under the occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, with many forced to leave their homes.
“The 2008 Russian attack is a stark reminder of those who continue to suffer as a result of Russia’s invasion of Georgia and Ukraine,” the mission’s statement said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine also expressed support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. In Kyiv, they also mentioned the occupation of Georgia’s regions by the Russian army.
15 years ago #Russia invaded #Georgia. 🇬🇪regions, Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, remain occupied by 🇷🇺troops. #Ukraine stands with Georgian people and reiterates its support for sovereignty and territorial integrity of 🇬🇪 within internationally recognized borders.— MFA of Ukraine 🇺🇦 (@MFA_Ukraine) August 7, 2023
“Fifteen years ago, Russia invaded Georgia. The regions of Georgia — Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia — are still occupied by Russian troops. Ukraine supports the Georgian people and reaffirms its commitment to Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders,” stated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a statement in support of Georgia.
“Fifteen years ago today, Russia began its aggression against Georgia. Twenty percent of Georgia’s territory is still occupied. Cruelty and violations of international law [by Russia] continue. We must break this vicious cycle of Russian aggression,” tweeted Kallas.
“After fifteen years, Georgia still witnesses Russia’s unjustified invasion,” said the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement shared on Twitter. Estonia continues to support Georgia’s territorial integrity and its Euro-Atlantic integration, emphasized the text.
The Russian occupation and Russia’s attack on Georgia were called a gross violation of international law and condemned by the President of Lithuania, Gitanas Nauseda, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia.
“We have always supported Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Today, Ukraine defends its freedom from the same aggressor. We call on Russia to withdraw its troops from the territory of Georgia and Ukraine,” said Nauseda.
“We firmly support Georgia’s independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and its path to Euro-Atlantic integration,” stated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia in their statement.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark also expressed similar sentiments in their statement, condemning the illegal presence of Russian military in Georgian territory:
“Fifteen years ago, Russian troops invaded Georgia as part of a new phase of aggression against neighboring countries. Denmark condemns Russia’s unlawful military presence in the territories of Georgia — Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia.”
Similarly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania noted that the 15th anniversary of the “August War” serves as a reminder of Russia’s long history of aggressive behavior.