Russia blasts US Senate’s resolution on Georgia

Suhum (RIA Novosti / STF)
Russia has expressed surprise over the resolution on Georgia approved recently by the US Senate, saying that it demonstrated either a lack of awareness, or a deliberate misreading of the facts.

­The Russian Foreign Ministry released an official statement on Monday in which it sharply criticized the resolution on Georgia passed unanimously by the US Senate on July 29. The US resolution supported Georgia’s territorial integrity, and recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as regions “occupied by the Russian Federation”.

“Statements that Abkhazia and South Ossetia are reportedly occupied by the Russian Federation lack both factual and legal grounds. The resolution of the US senators in this regard testifies either to a poor background in the international law or to a total disregard for the real facts,” reads the statement signed by the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokesman, Aleksandr Lukashevich. “Such statements are not harmless at all. They feed the revanchist moods inherent in Tbilisi’s policies, and support the Georgian side’s refusal to speak to Sukhum and Tskhinval with mutual respect on a basis of parity. Meanwhile, such dialogue is the key to peace, stability and prosperity in the region, and it is good to remember this for the US side as well,” the Russian ministry’s statement reads.

Lukashevich said that the US resolution contained the full set of well-used clichés that have been voiced by Washington for several years now, including the statement on the so called “occupation”. “We have repeatedly given our explanations on the absurdity of the usage of this term in the given context. There is not a single Russian military serviceman on Georgian soil. There are Russian military contingents in the region, but they are on the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which are recognized by Russia as sovereign states,” the Russian diplomat said.

The Russian official also mentioned that from a strictly legal point of view, the term occupation means the effective control over another state’s territory and population coupled with the actual displacement of the local authorities by an occupational administration.  Neither of these criteria are applicable to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as these nations are ruled by their own governments, not Russian military units.

The Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Abkhazia also disagreed with the US Senate’s opinion that Russia’s military presence in Abkhazia is an occupation. The ministry went on to state that the United States cannot act as an impartial mediator in the negotiations as it is a party to the conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia.

At the same time, the Abkhazian diplomats said that their country was open to any representative from the US authorities who would like to personally make sure that Abkhazia is an independent, democratic state that follows its own internal and international policy. Abkhazia also expressed regret over the continual anti-Abkhazian activities of the US administration, which has manifested in the form of political and economic sanctions.

It should be noted that the US Senate made an amendment to the initial text of the resolution on Georgia, replacing the term “de facto” in reference to the authorities in Abkhazia and South Ossetia with “the authorities in control in the regions” – the formula used by the Georgian government in its own documents.