Comment by the Official Representative of the Georgian Foreign Ministry regarding the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson

Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration course being one of the  key foreign and security policy priorities represents a value-based choice of the Georgian people to return to their European family, and is by no means directed against anyone – especially against our Abkhazian and Ossetia fellow citizens. Quite the contrary, joining the EU and NATO is the guarantee of peace and development for Georgia, as well as for the entire region.

Along with the European and Euro-Atlantic integration course, Georgia continues unwaveringly to pursue the peaceful conflict resolution policy; we have fully implemented the EU-mediated Ceasefire Agreement of 12 August 2008.

Georgia has many times proved its commitment to non-use of force. We are constructively engaging in the formats of peace negotiations and spare no efforts to solve security and humanitarian problems of the conflict-affected population.

And we continue to do so against the background of provocative actions from the Russian Federation and the occupation regimes, illegal militarization, violation of the ceasefire agreement, erection of barbed wires and artificial barriers, gross violation of rights and freedoms of the local population, closure of the so-called crossing points keeping the population in complete isolation, and grave humanitarian problems used for putting political pressure on Georgia.

Amid such humanitarian crisis, it is cynical to speak of “the statehood” of the occupied territories and aims at diverting attention from the current grave situation to some other dimensions, at covering up illegal occupation and ethnic cleansing and at shifting responsibility from the force exercising effective control to its occupation regimes.

Conduction of the so-called “elections” in the Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions serves the same goal – that of legitimizing somehow the occupation regimes and shifting to them the entire responsibility. However, with hundreds of thousands of ethnically cleansed refugees and internally displaced persons, these “elections” can have no legal consequences and totally contradict the fundamental norms and principles of international law".