USA: US urges Russia to withdraw forces from Abkhazia and South Ossetia
US and European countries urged Russia to withdraw troops from Abkhazia and South Ossetia
Eight countries said Moscow’s actions threaten the life and health of the population affected by the conflict between Russia and Georgia 12 years ago
The United States and seven European countries marked the 12th anniversary of the conflict between Russia and Georgia with a call for Moscow to withdraw troops from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, permit medical evacuations and deliver aid, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
After a closed briefing at the UN Security Council by Assistant Secretary General Miroslav Jenchey, Western countries said that Russia’s continued military presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and its recognition of the “so-called independence of these regions” violates the territorial integrity of Georgia and undermines its sovereignty.
Georgia made an unsuccessful attempt to regain control of the breakaway province of South Ossetia during the presidency of Mikhail Saakashvili, leading to a war with Russia that began on August 7, 2008.
Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and another separatist region, Abkhazia, and established military bases there.
The United States and European countries in a joint statement noted that they are “extremely concerned about the intensification of the so-called "border consolidation process" over the past year “, which is being held by Russia,” including during the global pandemic COVID-19 “.
According to them, Russia’s actions further divide communities and endanger “the health and life of the population affected by the conflict.”.
“Throughout this already difficult time, the de facto authorities exercising control over the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia continued the practice of arbitrary detentions at the administrative boundary line,” the statement said. “The de facto authorities of South Ossetia have repeatedly denied emergency medical evacuation and did not allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.”.
The United States, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway and Ireland also raised concerns about the “ongoing campaign of disinformation about the pandemic and related health issues.”.
“These actions prolong the conflict, threaten peace and stability, impede the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and negatively affect the health and security of people throughout Georgia, destabilizing the region as a whole,” said eight countries.
Dmitry Polyansky, Russia’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN, responded by tweeting that the joint statement is “a beautiful invention, but only an invention.”.
“As a result of the reckless policy of the former Georgian leadership, shamelessly encouraged by the United States and some of its satellites, two independent states have appeared on the world map, and this is a reality that cannot be ignored,” Polyansky said..
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