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Russia protests label of “occupier”

By Messenger Staff
Friday, April 20
There is currently a dispute between Georgia and Russia regarding the term “occupier”. Georgia has called the Russian actions on August 8, 2008 “occupation”, and Georgian diplomats regularly use this term when discussing those events with the international community. Now, almost all international organizations use this term in reference to the Russian position vis-a-vis Georgia. Russia is against this usage, although it indeed reflects reality.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs wants to dedicate a special round of the Geneva talks to this issue. When Russia occupied Georgian territories in 2008, and later recognized as independent entities there, it said that it would create a new reality. So by signing agreements with the puppet regimes in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, it tried to legalize its presence in the regions.

However, Georgian diplomats managed to link this term to Russian actions. Of course Russia prefers to refer to itself as a "peacekeeper", a so-called neutral force that entered Georgian territories to protect its citizens there. But the world is not blind and whatever tricks Moscow would pull, it is not going to deceive anyone with hypocritical assertions that it is only a peacekeeper and not a party to the conflict.

As the Georgian government has pointed out, they use the term "occupation" because this is a situation in which the military force of another country are deployed on the territory of a sovereign state within borders officially recognized by the international community as Georgia. This is not just Georgia's definition – it is international legislation.