US Ambassador to OSCE Condemns Russian Borderization

The United States Ambassador to OSCE, James S.Gilmore, has made a statement aimed at supporting Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity at the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna, urging Russia to stop illegal occupation of the country’s territory.

The US Ambassador further noted that his country “continues to monitor recent reports of a military buildup by Russia” near the occupation line with Tskhinvali region and “will expose violations of Georgia’s sovereignty”.

The US also calls on Russia to utilize all available channels to prevent further escalation of the conflict and to withdraw its forces from Georgia. 

“The United States fully supports Georgia’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, as well as Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Russia’s efforts to rewrite historical facts and create a false narrative again undermine efforts to resolve the conflict, and will not succeed.

Like Canada, the United States is troubled by reports of the resumption of installation of fencing on Georgian territory near the administrative boundary line of the Russian-occupied Georgian region of South Ossetia. The process of “borderization” unfairly affects Georgian civilians living in the area, separating them from their farmlands, family, livelihoods, and critical infrastructure. Borderization infringes on Georgia’s sovereignty and is contrary to the principles of the Helsinki Final Act.

We call for the immediate halt of construction of new fencing and other barriers. Respect for the sovereignty of Georgia requires these physical impediments to be dismantled.

Once again, we call on Russia to suspend its occupation of 20 percent of Georgian territory; to withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions, and to allow unfettered access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance in accordance with its commitment under the 2008 ceasefire agreement.

The United States continues to monitor recent reports of a military buildup by Russia near the Administrative Boundary Line of the Russian-occupied Georgian region of South Ossetia and will expose violations of Georgia’s sovereignty.

We welcome the August 30 meeting between the parties to defuse tensions. We call on all sides to avoid further escalation and to continue to work through the European Union Monitoring Mission hotline and the Geneva International Discussions Co-Chairs to resolve the occupation. We call on Russia to utilize all available channels to prevent further escalation of the conflict and to withdraw its forces”, James S. Gilmore stated at the meeting.

By Ana Dumbadze 

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