Anna Fotyga on the situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia/Tskhinvali
Anna Fotyga, Chair of SEDE, on the situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia/Tskhinvali
I would like to express my deep concern about latest developments in the occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia/Tskhinvali region in Georgia, namely the so-called “parliamentary elections” that took place in Abkhazia on March 12 and the so-called “presidential elections” in South Ossetia/Tskhinvali region to be held on April 9. These “elections” are taking place against the background of waves of forced evictions in both regions and serious human rights violations. The security and defence subcommittee in the European Parliament has been closely following the situation in occupied territories, visiting the Administrative Boundary Line and IDP’s camps. Any attempt to legitimise the forcibly changed demographic situation of both regions is unacceptable.
I condemn the so-called referendum planned for April 9 in South Ossetia/Tskhinvali region aimed at changing its name, which seeks to prepare ground for its illegal annexation.
The international community should give serious attention to this provocative attempt to violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and to gradually incorporate the region into the Russian Federation.
I also strongly condemn the signing on 31 March of the so-called agreement on the incorporation of the unlawful military units of the occupied Tskhinvali region into the armed forces of the Russian Federation. This is another stage in Russia’s policy of annexing Abkhazia and Tskhinvali which began with the signing of the so-called treaties of alliance and integration/strategic alliance between Russia and its occupation regimes in Sokhumi and Tskhinvali. The integration of Georgia’s occupied regions into the military system of the Russian Federation also contributes to Moscow’s continued refusal to commit to the non-use of force in the region and to comply with the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement. The EU should make it clear that by these provocative actions the Russian Federation is seriously harming the Geneva International Discussions and is intentionally obstructing any potential progress in the peace process.
I am also very concerned about the latest closure of crossing points along the Administrative Boundary Line with Abkhazia, which further aggravates the situation. This measure is aimed at further restricting the freedom of movement and people to people contacts which have been important factors in confidence-building in the conflict-torn region.
The subcommittee on security and defence will continue to closely monitor and assess the situation in the occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia/Tskhinvali.
Anna Fotyga, Chair of SEDE