Russia’s Violations of Georgian Sovereignty
As delivered by Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Michele Siders
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
February 1, 2018
The United States condemns the Russian Federation’s approval of an agreement with the de facto leaders in Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia regarding a joint military force. We do not recognize the legitimacy of this so-called “treaty,” which does not constitute a valid international agreement.
The United States’ position on Abkhazia and South Ossetia is unwavering: We fully support Georgia’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
The United States rejects Russia’s attempts to create so-called “borders” along the Administrative Boundary Lines in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russia’s actions restrict freedom of movement of the population and prevent international and humanitarian organizations from fully assisting those affected by the conflicts.
Russia’s recent establishment of customs points in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia contravene Russia’s OSCE commitments to the principles of respect for the rights inherent in sovereignty, the inviolability of borders, and the territorial integrity of states.
The United States also views these actions as inconsistent with the principles underlying the Geneva International Discussions, in which Russia is a participant. The United States urges Russia to withdraw its forces to pre-war positions, in accordance with the 2008 ceasefire agreement, and reverse its recognition of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.