In 2018, Georgia celebrates the 100th anniversary of independence and the creation of the first Democratic Republic, which laid a solid Foundation for the modern Georgian state and society.
Yet this year, 10 years on from the Russian military aggression of August 2008, the Russian Federation continues illegal occupation and factual annexation of Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia, undermining international law and the rules-based international system.
In addition, Russia has blocked humanitarian and international access to the occupied regions, worsening the human rights and security situation on the ground, with the fundamental rights of the local population infringed on a daily basis. Hundreds of thousands of Georgians remain internally displaced and face arbitrary detention, mistreatment and even death for visiting their property, churches and cemetery over the barbed-wire fences.
Occupation of 20% of the territory of sovereign Georgia and continuous military buildup seriously undermines security and peace in wider Europe and requires serious engagement from the international community. The government of Georgia highly values the UK’s strong support of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations. We are united by shared values, we have common interests for international security and stability, and we face common challenges.
Russia’s invasion of Georgia and occupation of 20% of it is a clear demonstration of Moscow’s readiness to unilaterally redraw European borders by force and challenge the right of its sovereign neighbours to choose their own future. Western allies have to stand up not only for Georgia but to defend our common principles, values and interests.