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CoE Adopts Decision on Russia-Georgia Conflict

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, May 4
Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that the Committee of Ministers' Deputies of the Council of Europe (CoE) at its 1315th session adopted yet another decision on the agenda item “Council of Europe and the Conflict in Georgia”, in which the CoE Member States reaffirm their strong support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity holding Russia legally accountable for exercising actual control on Georgia’s occupied territories.

The ministry says this decision is an important step forward in terms of international assessment of the situation in Georgia’s occupied territories.

According to the MFA, this decision, like previous decisions of the international organization, reaffirms that the conflict is between two CoE member states - the Russian Federation and Georgia.

The member states of the CoE confirm that none of Russia's illegal acts, which seek to change the status of Georgia's occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, is legally applicable and has no legal consequences.

Moreover, the Committee of Ministers' Deputies calls upon the Russian Federation to stop and reverse this process and to comply with its international law obligations and commitments, including under the EU mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement.

The document also mentions human rights violations in Georgia’s occupied regions, calling on the de facto authorities to guarantee and implement the right to education in the native language; to create conditions providing safe and dignified return for IDPs and refugees, and to protect their property rights; to remove any impediment, restriction or limitation to the right to freedom of movement across the ABLs and to cease arbitrary detention of persons; to ensure that residents of the Georgian regions are not discriminated on ethnic grounds and are allowed to hold Georgian passports; to prevent further deterioration of monuments belonging to the cultural heritage of Georgia’s Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.

The Council of Europe also welcomes and openly endorses the package of peacemaking initiatives proposed by the Government of Georgia.

The Committee calls on the Russian Federation to secure immediate and unrestricted access to the territories beyond the control of the Government of Georgia to the Council of Europe bodies.

Georgia’s Vice-Premier and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mikheil Janelidze says the decision is of great importance for the country.

“With this decision and other resolutions that have been adopted, we try to attract the attention of the international community and consolidate their position, which is crucial for the peaceful regulation of the conflict,” Janelidze stated.

Moreover, Georgian PM, Giorgi Kvirikashvili underlined that the CoE decision confirms the government of Georgia has correct foreign and domestic policy.

“The occupation of Georgia's regions and the human rights situation therein has been actively discussed since 2014 by the Council of Europe and within other relevant international formats, which is crucial for consolidating support from the international community,” he stated.

The PM noted that the decision is a clear example of the Georgian government’s peacemaking policy.