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Georgia welcomes Council of Europe’s 8th decision on the conflict in Georgia that uses the term ‘occupation’ for the first time

By Veronika Malinboym
Friday, May 14
Earlier yesterday, the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released an official statement in which it welcomed the 8th decision of the Council of Europe on the conflict in Georgia and the fact that the document, for the first time, included the term ‘occupation’ when referring to the regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.

This year’s document welcomed the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights announced on January 2021, and underscored Russia’s responsibility for the dire human right situation in the occupied territories that it exercises effective control over. The document also states that the presence of Russian military forces in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali “threatens the peace and security of the region and violates international obligations, including the EU-proposed ceasefire agreement signed on August 12, 2008.” The document calls on Russia to comply with the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in the case Georgia v. Russia and take active steps to end all forms of ethnic discrimination of the residents of the regions and create conditions for safe and dignified return of refugees and internally displaced persons as well as put an end to policies that lead to violations of human rights.

The annual CoE document also highlights the pressing need to put an end to the murdering of ethnic Georgians in the occupied regions and bring perpetrators to justice, and allow humanitarian organizations and human rights monitoring missions free access to the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Finally, the document urges to end the violation of the right to education in the region, as well as prevent the deterioration of the cultural monuments that belong to the cultural heritage of the regions.

In response to the CoE’s decision, Foreign Minister of Georgia David Zalkaliani expressed his gratitude in a post on his official Twitter page:

“Shared with media representatives the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers’ unprecedented decision on The Council of Europe and Conflict Georgia,” where it stresses Russia's responsibility of occupying Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali and depriving the local population of their fundamental human rights. Grateful to our partners for staunch support.”

The European Court of Human Rights released its judgment on the case of Russia v Georgia on January 21, 2021. According to the ruling, Russia is found guilty of violating several charters of the European Convention on Human Rights during the active phase of the August 2008 conflict, as well as of carrying out ethnic cleansing of Georgians.