Thank you, Mr President.
August 7th this year will mark 12 years since we witnessed Russia´s full-scale military aggression against Georgia, which was followed by illegal occupation of Georgia´s integral parts – regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Estonia – together with Germany, Belgium, France, United Kingdom and United States of America asked the AOB to draw the Security Council´s attention to this ongoing Russian attempt of redrawing the borders in Europe and undermining its neighbor’s sovereignty.
After more than a decade into the conflict, we regret the lack of progress by Russia in implementing the existing peace agreement and not withdrawing its military forces from Georgia´s territory. On the contrary, we see the opposite trend.
Lately we have witnessed the increase of provocative actions against Georgia. This translates into a more fragile security situation in the whole region. Therefore, we call on Russia to start immediately implementing the Secretary General´s call for a global ceasefire, and to respect the International law.
During the pandemic – occupation forces have continued their military build-up; further activated their illegal works of the so-called borderisation, both in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The tactics of illegal detentions and kidnappings are ongoing as well as disinformation campaigns and meddling in Georgia´s internal affairs.
Additionally, it was very disturbing to hear that the occupation forces deny medical aid to some villages based on ethnicity, as it is the case for example in the village of Akhalgori, South Ossetia. All this further divides Georgian communities, creates artificial borders and fear among local populations.
We are deeply concerned that Russia is willing to misuse the most vulnerable time for the entire world, to enlarge its footprint in Georgia. All these activities only serve to further destabilize and bring more hardship.
The European Union Monitoring Mission remains the only International presence on the ground and we deplore any actions to prevent its work. Furthermore, we recall that the EU Monitoring Mission´s mandate covers the whole territory of Georgia, including its regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Estonia encourages all parties to redouble their engagement with the Geneva International Discussions and implement the six-point agreement of 2008 and its Implementing Measures in full. I hope that the political will can be found in the near future.
Estonia has unwavering support for Georgia´s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. Estonia is committed in our support for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Georgia.