Six Western countries marked the 15th anniversary of Russia’s seizure of 20% of Georgia’s territory by asking Moscow on Thursday to return the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
According to a joint statement issued by the six members of the UN Security Council – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Albania, Japan and Malta – Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 “marked a more aggressive trend” In her policy towards her neighbors, something It is witnessing today in Ukraine.
The statement, following closed council consultations on Georgia, said the six countries are “resolute” in reaffirming the country’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity “within its internationally recognized borders”.
In August 2008, Russia went to war with Georgia, which had unsuccessfully attempted to regain control of the breakaway province of South Ossetia. Moscow then recognized the independence of South Ossetia and another breakaway Georgian province, Abkhazia, and set up military bases there.
The statement, which was read by Albanian Ambassador Ferit Hoxha outside the Security Council surrounded by diplomats from the five other countries, condemned Russia’s “brutal invasion” and continued occupation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and its “steps towards annexation of these Georgian regions”.
Western countries also reiterated their condemnation of Moscow for “continuous provocations that parallel the Russian Federation’s unwarranted and unjustified aggression against Ukraine.”
They pointed to the continuation of Russia’s military exercises in Georgia’s territory, sea and airspace, as well as its erection of barbed-wire fencing and other barriers, its illegal arrests and abductions of local residents, discrimination against Georgians, and deliberate harm to Georgian cultural heritage.
The six countries said the Russian-Georgian conflict must be resolved peacefully on the basis of international law, including the United Nations Charter, which requires recognition of each country’s territorial integrity, “while also noting the context of Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine.”
Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyansky, called the Western statement “hypocritical” in a tweet, saying that Georgia had lost its territory due to a “reckless gamble”.
Russia Direct flights with Georgia resumed in MayPolyansky said that Moscow’s relations with the country are “gradually improving, enabling tourism and economic exchanges.”
“But the anti-Russian West is not happy and is trying to drive a wedge between us at any cost,” he said. “This statement is a clear illustration of this.”
Polyansky called the situation “especially disgusting and hypocritical” knowing that Ukraine turned “anti-Russian” in 2014, when Moscow annexed Crimea. He said that Ukraine “is now being sacrificed by the United States and its allies to Western geopolitical interests in a futile NATO proxy war against Russia to the last of Ukraine.”
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