Resolutions in the US Congress and Russian Occupation of Georgia
By Levan Khutsishvili
Monday, May 28
On May 24, 2018, the US Congressman's David Perdue (Republic of Georgia), Ben Cardin (Democrat-Maryland) and Johnny Isakson (Republican-Georgia State) initiated a resolution in the US Congress To support Georgia. The resolution is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Georgia's independence and emphasizes the strong support of the US to Georgian people.
According to the Foreign Ministry, the resolution emphasizes US-Georgia strategic partnership and alliance. The resolution supports further strengthening of partnership between the US and Georgia in the field of defense and security, as well as the development of trade and commercial relations between the two countries.
In the statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, it is said that the US Congress reiterates strong support to Georgia's NATO membership and emphasizes Georgia's great contribution to Euro-Atlantic security. Georgia is referred as a leader in the democratic development of the region, in strengthening the parliament's role. Reforms of the Government of Georgia in terms of the rule of law, media transparency and freedom, accountability of the government, and strengthening judicial independence are recognized and supported by the US.
The US Congress expresses strong support to Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within internationally recognized borders. The resolution supports independent, united Georgia and peaceful future of the region.
At the same time, the US Congress condemns the illegal occupation of Georgia's territories - Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions by the Russian Federation and underscores the negative consequences of strengthening the occupation line with barbed wire fences. The Senate notes that after ten years of Russian military intervention in 2008, the Russian Federation still does not fulfill ceasefire agreement signed on August 12, 2008 and restricts hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons and refugees to return to their homes.The resolution emphasizes the hard situation of human rights and humanitarian relief in the occupied regions of Georgia and condemns the facts of the murder of Georgian citizens Archil Tatunashvili, Giga Otkhozria and David Basharuli.
The US Congress stresses on the necessity of implementing the ceasefire agreement and underlines the necessity of the Russian Federation's armed forces withdrawal from the post-war stages and the importance of international security mechanisms in the occupied regions.The resolution also emphasizes the need for safe and dignified return of internally displaced persons and refugees to their homes.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikheil Janelidze said Georgia received an “unbelievable support” from international society and especially underlined the resolution initiated in the US congress, as a confirmation of strong bi-partial support of the Congress:
“I want to thank Congressmen’s and Congress for expressed support. This is a project that I'm sure will be supported by other congressmen’s and this will be another confirmation of the US Congressional support to Georgia," said Mikheil Janelidze.
In last two years, the number of submitted and approved resolutions and legislative documents in the US legislative and executive circles that supports Georgia is raised. In 2017, the United States lawmakers have developed and adopted 6 important legislative acts and resolutions that are emphasizing the importance of protecting Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity and taking appropriate measures, including sanctions.
For example, the draft law approved by the US House of Representatives on July 25, H.R. 3364 (Countering America's Adversaries through Sanctions Act), denounces Russia’s aggression in Eurasian countries, including aggressive actions in Georgia and Ukraine, rejection of international law and international obligations, illegal occupation of regions of Georgia - Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The Draft law emphasizes the importance of withdrawal of Russian armed forces from Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, access to humanitarian aid in the occupied regions of Georgia and access to the occupied territories by the EU Monitoring Mission.
The similar content had the resolution approved by the US House of Representatives in September 2016 (H.Res.660).
And besides the many other resolutions and draft laws that support sovereignty of Georgia and states from Russia to implement ceasefires agreement, the situation is getting worse.The Russian occupation is claiming more and more Georgian land and lives of Georgian citizens. Georgian government always highlights with pride that the US Congress supports Georgia however invisible the results of these resolutions are.