Embassy Press Releases

n the international recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia

1. The roots of the conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia and the conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia are related to radical nationalists taking over in Georgia in 1990 who adopted the slogan "Georgia for Georgians". The chauvinistic policy n ethnic minorities led to attempts of violent suppression of the Abkhazians and Ossetians who were seeking national self-determination. The end to the unfolded armed confrontation was put only in 1992-1993 thanks to Russia's peacekeeping efforts.

Yet, even after that the Georgian leadership was consistently sabotaging for many years the agreements reached with the help of Russia and implemented with participation of the UN and OSCE. The attempts to gain control over South Ossetia and Abkhazia by force, provocations and attacks continued. In August 2004 Saakashvili's armed units attacked Tskhinval, but defenders of the city stopped them. In July 2006 the Georgian troops occupied the Kodori Vll in Abkhazia in defiance of the curent settlement agreements. In August 2008 the Georgian troops by order of President Saakashvili launched new military attack, unprecedented by its scale and cruelty. large-scale attack n South Ossetia began n the night of the 8th of August with the massive bombardment of Tskhinval with the use of heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems. Hundreds of civilians fell its victims; Russian peacekeepers were killed.

The Russian leadership had no choice other than to stand up to the Georgian militarists. This decision was not only legitimate, it was also in line with the moral duty to defend human lives. There is n doubt that the population of South Ossetia would be simply wiped out without protection of Russia. The staff duments captured by our troops have proven that Georgia had been preparing the sm attack n Abkhazia.

After the inglorious failure of its riminl venture Tbilisi categorically refused to discuss status of the two republics in n frm, and the Georgian leaders plainly said that "the war was not over". Simultnusl, certain states - sponsors of Georgia voiced the intention to restore its militr potential. It b m clear then that Georgia and its allies continued to pursue the policy of violent resolution of the Abkhazian and South Ossetian issues against the will of these peoples. The opportunity for peaceful sttlmnt and exercise of the right to slf-dtrmintin by these peoples within the Georgian state was mltl lost. Therefore, the peoples of Abkhazia and South Ossetia could guarantee their survival and peaceful dvlmnt only b establishing independent states. This is the ground for recognition of their independence B Russia and sm other states, which fully mts the fundmntl principles of international law.

2. Today, the young republics of Transcaucasia, being protected b Russia and relying n its mrhnsiv support, successfully building their statehood. They vrming the effects of lng-trm suffocating blockade and barbarous milit r activities b Tbilisi, and m king gradual nmi and social imrvmnts.

The overall situation in the gion has also lmd down. certain pattern of security m intnn has bn set up at the borders between Georgia and Abkhazia, and Georgia and South Ossetia: the presence of Russian border guards and militr bases n n side of the border, and the European Union observers n the other side mk it possible to contain Tbilisi frm serious provocations. Late last year, Mikheil Saakashvili under pressure b the international mmunit officially renounced the use of force. Sukhum and Tskhinval did the sm, although, with their bitter experience, they are skeptical about the rmiss of the Georgian side.

However, the Georgian leadership is still persistently denying the obvious, i.e. the irreversibility of the political implications of its criminal venture in August 2008. Time and again, Mikheil Saakashvili strays between peaceful assurances and claims purporting that the war is not over and appeals to "celebrate the New Year's Day in Sukhumi". In an attempt to bring Abkhazia and South Ossetia back to Georgia, he suggests taking measures that are infeasible or sometimes fairly insulting to Abkhazians and Ossetians.

We are convinced, however, that over time Georgia will come to an understanding that it is impossible to bring back the lost territories b force or fraud. Then the time will m for Tbilisi to start setting up equal, good- neighborly relations with Abkhazians and South Ossetians, which would undoubtedly serve the interests of the region and the entire international community.

3. The young republics of Transcaucasia are consistently enhancing and strengthening their positions n the international stage. Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru recognized their independence. The official recognition of the Republic of Abkhazia b Vanuatu and the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries became another important event. number of other States (Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Syria and some countries from Latin America) maintain ties with Abkhazia and South Ossetia through general public, parliaments, business, and establish mutually beneficial economic cooperation.

There is n doubt that the two new States will fairly continue integrating into the international community.