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FM Janelidze Urges Russia to Withdraw Its Troops from Breakaway Territories of Georgia

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, May 24
Vice Prime Minister of Georgia and the minister of Foreign Affairs, Mikheil Janelidze called on the Russian Federation to withdraw its troops from Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali and allow international security mechanisms to be established on the ground.

The minister made the statement while delivering speech at the United Nations (UN) themed debate dedicated to the protection of civilians in armed conflicts.

In his speech Janelidze paid special attention to the situation in Georgia’s occupied territories and human rights violations. According to him, the fact that international security mechanisms are denied access to the territories that are under the illegal military occupation have contributed to the creation of the environment that puts lives and basic rights of civilians living in and along the occupied territories under danger.

“The only international security presence, the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) is unable to fully exercise its mandate by being denied access to the territories that are under the illegal military occupation by the Russian Federation,” he stated.

According to the minister, 10 years have passed since the Russia-Georgia war and Russian Federation has yet to fulfill its obligations under the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement.

“Russia continues to violate the UN Charter and main principles of international law, as well as up to 39 UNSC Resolutions,” he said, stressing that the civilian population on the occupied territories are deprived of minimal safeguards for their safety and are stripped of their fundamental rights and freedoms, including the right to freedom of movement, education in native language, right to health care and the right to property.

“No international monitor is allowed to enter the occupied regions and provide credible information about the humanitarian and human rights needs on the ground, which should be totally unacceptable for the international community and the Security Council,” he added.

While addressing the debate participants, Janelidze also mentioned Giga Otkhozoria case, who was killed by so-called Abkhazian border guards on the Georgia-controlled territory on May 19, 2016 and Archil Tatunashvili case, who was kidnapped by the occupant forces of breakaway Tskhinvali on February 22, 2018 and died the next day in unknown circumstances in custody.

The Vice-Premier reaffirmed Georgia’s readiness to join the global efforts aimed at addressing the question of impunity and strengthening the protection of human rights.