Georgia slams Russian ‘occupation’ of Abkhazia, South Ossetia
Georgia on Wednesday voiced "extreme concern" over the presence of Russian troops in its breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
“I must express our extreme concern over the critical situation in the two regions of Georgia currently under the Russian occupation,” Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
“The ongoing violations in Georgia’s occupied regions and adjacent areas require your immediate attention and urgent measures,” she said.
Nestled on the Black Sea, the Russian-backed territory of Abkhazia declared independence from Georgia following a brutal war in the early 1990s.
Abkhazia and South Ossetia are recognised only by Russia and a few far-flung states.
Russia – which fought a brief war with Georgia in 2008 over South Ossetia — has several thousand troops stationed in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Panjikidze notably denounced a “massive process of installation of barbwire fences and embankments along the occupation line”, which she said was a “clear violation of the fundamental principles of international law”.
“These illegal activities significantly affect the livelihoods of the local population, divide families and communities, and prevent people-to-people contacts,” she said.
She also slammed Moscow’s “failure to reciprocate” following a unilateral pledge by Georgia in November 2010 not to use force in the dispute.