U.S. Participation in the 59th Round of Geneva International Discussions on the Conflict in Georgia
The United States notes the conclusion of the 59th round of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) on the Conflict in Georgia, which took place December 5-6 in Geneva.
The United States delegation, led by Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the U.S. Mission to the OSCE Michael Carpenter, welcomed dialogue with participants to seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Georgia. The United States called upon the Russian Federation, as a party to the conflict, to fulfill immediately its unequivocal obligation under the EU-mediated August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement to withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions, as well as to uphold its commitments to allow unrestricted access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and not impede international security arrangements on the ground. The occupation of 20 percent of Georgia’s territory by Russia’s forces undermines Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as does Russia’s ongoing borderization. Abkhazia and South Ossetia are internationally recognized and integral parts of Georgia. The United States applauds Georgia’s long-held commitment not to use force to resolve the conflict.
Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine reminds us that Russia’s actions in Georgia are not isolated. We condemn Russia’s behavior in the strongest possible terms, just as we condemn Russia’s violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, which has continued since 2008. Russia is the only party to the conflict in Georgia that currently stations its forces on the territory of another sovereign state in flagrant violation of the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, and Russia’s obligation under the 2008 ceasefire agreement. These violations resulted in the killing of a Georgian citizen in November by Russian occupation forces for traveling within his own country. We offer condolences to the family of Tamaz Ginturi and condemn Russia’s actions that resulted in his death.
The United States regrets that, due to a walk-out by participants from Russia and the de facto authorities, the issues of Internally Displaced Persons and refugees, water, and gas could not be fully discussed.
The United States notes the partial reopening of two crossing points on the administrative boundary line with the South Ossetia region of Georgia and we continue the call for their full reopening, which would have a positive impact for communities in conflict-affected areas. The United States praises the effectiveness of the ongoing Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM), which defuses tensions at the local level and delivers concrete results to people living within this conflict-affected area and hopes to see the resumption of the Gali IPRM in the nearest possible future.