🇷🇺 🇬🇪 Russia-Georgia war: 10 years since conflict | Al Jazeera English
US and EU urged Russia to fulfill its obligations
On August 7, Georgia marked the 12th anniversary of the Russian-Georgian war, as a result of which 20 percent of the Georgian territory was occupied. Representatives of the Georgian authorities, opposition, as well as international partners of Georgia again called on Russia to fulfill its obligations when signing the ceasefire agreement of August 12, 2008.
“The 2008 Russian-Georgian war claimed the lives of hundreds of our citizens, including civilians. We have lost our hero soldiers, territories. These were tragic days, after which great pain and serious consequences remained. We will never accept the occupation. We are on a peaceful solution to this challenge, and our international partners support us in this process, “Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia wrote on the Facebook social network, while urging Russia” to stop its destabilizing actions. “.
At the same time, the US Embassy in Georgia, in its statement on the anniversary of the war, expressed support for the people of Georgia and called on Russia to return its military forces to the positions they held before the 2008 war, withdraw recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and provide unhindered access to humanitarian aid in occupied regions, as well as a dignified and safe return of internally displaced persons to their homes.
The EU Delegation in Tbilisi also reminded Russia of the failure to fulfill its obligations and at the same time declared its firm support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders..
Russia has not yet made any comments in connection with the anniversary of the August war, as well as statements by Tbilisi and Georgia’s partners. The fact is that the date of the start of the Russian-Georgian war in the Russian Federation is considered August 8, in contrast to Georgia and the world community, who believe that the war began on August 7, 2008. It is expected that, as in previous years, Moscow will circulate the corresponding statement this year on August 8..
Analysts in Tbilisi state a lack of progress in resolving conflicts in Georgia. Expert Zaal Anjaparidze believes that over the past year, neither in the issue of rapprochement with the population of the separatist regions, and even more so, in terms of resolving the problem of restoring the territorial integrity of Georgia, there have been “no tangible shifts that would make it possible to talk about progress”.
According to Anjaparidze, the situation even worsened in certain directions, in particular, the expert means the situation along the dividing line..
“Abductions of people continue, freedom of movement is limited and movement of the so-called. “Borders” deep into the territory controlled by Tbilisi. The problem is that the light is not even visible at the end of the tunnel, ”the expert summed up pessimistically..
Out of focus
George Mchedlishvili from the University of Europe believes that
Georgia’s “last full step” on the way to resolving the conflict was the peace initiative of former Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili “Step to a Better Future”, which he presented in the spring of 2018.
“This bold initiative was criticized by the puppet regimes, as well as some in Georgia, but it was very well appreciated by our Western partners, especially the European Union and the OSCE. After that, there were no serious initiatives – too much strength and energy and political capital in Georgia was occupied at first by the presidential elections, and then the political struggle associated with the so-called “Gavrilov’s night”, and then Georgia switched to an election campaign, because at the end of October the parliamentary elections , and the feeling both in Georgia and in the world is that the country has no time for the occupied territories, ”the political scientist believes.
It is noteworthy that the initiative of the Georgian authorities “Step to a Better Future” implies the following three directions:
The first is to expand and simplify trade along the dividing lines by creating new opportunities for residents of the occupied regions. The second is the creation of additional educational opportunities both within the country and abroad. The third is the creation of a mechanism that simplifies the access of residents of separatist regions to the benefits that Georgian citizens began to enjoy as a result of rapprochement with the EU, i.e., the rights to visa-free travel with the Schengen countries and free trade with Europe, and so on..
“The cost of illegal actions”
Tengiz Pkhaladze from the Georgian Institute of Public Administration, former adviser to the former president of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili, believes that in parallel with the initiatives of the Georgian authorities aimed at rapprochement with the population of the occupied territories (which the expert evaluates positively), Tbilisi’s policy towards Russia is “less impressive”.
“The entire humanitarian package aimed at restoring trust with the population of the separatist regions, including their free treatment, admission without exams to Georgian universities and so on, can only be welcomed. But at the same time, the policy towards Russia is a different story. Georgian diplomacy should be much more principled and active, otherwise the territorial problem will remain unresolved, “Pkhaladze said in a comment for the Russian service of the Voice of America..
The expert considers it unacceptable that the Georgian authorities do not seek sanctions against representatives of the occupation regimes, who, according to Pkhaladze, freely move around Western countries with Russian passports. The political scientist also notes Tbilisi’s “very weak reaction” to the military exercises held in Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region in July, which were preparatory maneuvers for the planned large-scale military exercises “Kavkaz-2020”.
“Tbilisi is trying to criticize Russia less so as not to irritate her. This is fundamentally wrong, “the expert believes..
According to the political scientist, Russia’s illegal actions can only be stopped by an assertive, decisive policy to mobilize the international community in support of Georgia, including the demand for sanctions. Pkhaladze believes that Moscow should know that for every illegal action Russia will have to pay a political price.
“If Russia continues to feel its own impunity, it will be impossible to move forward in resolving conflicts,” the expert concluded..