Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia regarding the 8th anniversary of the August 2008 War

7 August 2016 marks the 8th anniversary of Russia's large-scale military intervention and aggression against Georgia. Since then Russia has continued illegal occupation of the regions of the sovereign and independent state in contradiction with the international law as well as the commitments of the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement.

Eight years after the August 2008 war, as a result of the pragmatic approach of the Georgian Government the risk of escalation of the conflict is significantly decreased, however the security and humanitarian situation in the occupied territories remains grave. Fortifying the occupation line by razor and barbed wire fences and the so-called “border” signs became a practice. These destructive actions are exacerbated by abduction and illegal detentions of the Georgian citizens. Hundreds of thousands of IDPs and refugees have been still denied the right to safe and dignified return to the places of their original residence, while the remained population in the occupied regions suffers from the permanent ethnic discrimination. A clear illustration of that is the prohibition of education in native language, gross violation of the right to freedom of movement and property, which creates the risk of a new wave of ethnic cleansing in the occupied regions. Moreover, Moscow launched the factual annexation process of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, integrating them into Russia’s military, economic and social systems, which flagrantly infringes the fundamental principles of the international law.

Despite Russia’s provocative steps, the Government of Georgia firmly follows the peaceful conflict resolution policy. Georgia remains committed to active engagement in the Geneva International Discussions, aimed at resolving the outstanding security and humanitarian issues between Georgia and Russia in accordance with the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement. The Government of Georgia will further continue its rational policy towards Russia and will use all available diplomatic and political tools to resolve the conflict through peaceful means. Besides, the Government will spare no efforts to create favorable conditions for the reconciliation between the war-torn communities and stay open to share the benefits of Georgia’s European agenda to the people living beyond the occupation line.

While the ongoing occupation of the regions and serious security challenges, Georgia managed to succeed in its democratic transition and sustainable economic development, steadily moving along the path of its European and Euro-Atlantic Aspirations.

Georgia expresses the gratitude to the international society for the firm and unwavering support to its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Georgian side calls upon the international community to further consolidate the efforts in responding the consequences of the August 2008 war and the peaceful resolution of the conflict in Georgia in compliance with the international law.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses its deepest sympathy to the families of the soldiers and civil population who fell victim to the August 2008 War as well as to entire Georgia.