6 Western nations demand Russia return two regions it took from neighboring Georgia 15 years ago

Aug 10, 2023, 4:24 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Six Western nations marked the 15th anniversary of Russia’s takeover of 20% of Georgia’s territory by demanding on Thursday that Moscow return the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions.

A joint statement by the six members of the U.N. Security Council — the United States, United Kingdom, France, Albania, Japan and Malta — said Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008 “marked a more aggressive trend” in its policy toward its neighbors, something being witnessed today in Ukraine.

The statement, following closed council consultations on Georgia, said the six countries “are resolute” in reaffirming the country’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity “within its internationally recognized borders.”

In August 2008, Russia fought a brief war with Georgia, which had made a botched attempt to regain control over the breakaway province of South Ossetia. Moscow then recognized the independence of South Ossetia and another breakaway Georgian province, Abkhazia, and set up military bases there.

The statement, read by Albanian Ambassador Ferit Hoxha outside the Security Council surrounded by diplomats from the five other countries, condemned Russia’s “brutal invasion” and continued occupation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and its “steps toward annexation of these Georgian regions.”

The Western nations also reiterated their condemnation of Moscow for “continuous provocations which go in parallel with the Russian Federation’s unprovoked and unjustified aggression against Ukraine.”

They pointed to Russia’s continued military drills in Georgia’s territory, sea and airspace as well as its erection of barbed wire fences and other barriers, its unlawful detentions and abductions of local people, discrimination against ethnic Georgians, and deliberate damage to Georgian cultural heritage.

The six countries said the Russia-Georgia conflict should be resolved peacefully based on international law, including the U.N. Charter, which requires every country’s territorial integrity be recognized, “also noting the context of Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine.”

Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Dmitry Polyansky, called the Western statement “hypocrisy” in a tweet, saying Georgia lost territory because of a “reckless gamble.”

Russia resumed direct flights with Georgia in May, and Polyansky said Moscow’s ties with the country “are gradually improving, enabling tourist and economic exchanges.”

“But the Russophobic West is not happy and trying to drive the wedge between us at any price,” he said. “This statement is a clear illustration of this.”

Polyansky called the situation “especially sickening and hypocritical” knowing that Ukraine turned “anti-Russia” in 2014, when Moscow annexed Crimea. He said Ukraine “is being sacrificed right now by the U.S. and its allies for Western geopolitical interests in a futile NATO proxy war against Russia until the last Ukrainian.”

National News

Kyle Ellison stands in front of a fallen tree on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Kula, Hawaii. As hig...

Associated Press

When Kula needed water to stop wildfire, it got a trickle. Many other US cities are also vulnerable

Hours before devastating fires scorched the historic town of Lahaina on Maui, Kyle Ellison labored to save his rental house in Kula, a rural mountain town 24 miles away, from a different blaze. As high winds whipped burning trees and grass, Ellison and his landlord struggled with plummeting water pressure. Ellison had to wait for […]

5 minutes ago

File - Graduating Harvard University students celebrate their degrees during commencement ceremonie...

Associated Press

Borrowers are reassessing their budgets as student loan payments resume after pandemic pause

NEW YORK (AP) — Millions of Americans must start repaying their federal student loans again in October, with monthly payments averaging hundreds of dollars a month. To get ready, borrowers are cutting expenses, taking on additional work, and looking for options to reduce their monthly payments. Megan McClelland, 38, said she has started asking for […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Illinois semitruck accident kills 1, injures 5 and prompts ammonia leak evacuation

TEUTOPOLIS, Ill. (AP) — A semitruck carrying ammonia overturned in an Illinois county, spilling the chemical and causing an evacuation of area residents Friday night, police said. The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office said the accident happened less than 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) east of Teutopolis near an intersection of Route 40 and residents were evacuated […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

New York stunned and swamped by record-breaking rainfall as more downpours are expected

NEW YORK (AP) — One of New York’s wettest days in decades left the metropolitan area stunned and swamped Friday after heavy rainfall knocked out several subway and commuter rail lines, stranded drivers on highways, flooded basements and shuttered a terminal at LaGuardia Airport for hours. Some 8.65 inches (21.97 centimeters) of rain had fallen […]

9 hours ago

In this photo provided by the Ocean Exploration Trust, the chrysanthemum flower crest, an honored i...

Associated Press

Video provides first clear views of WWII aircraft carriers lost in the pivotal Battle of Midway

Footage from deep in the Pacific Ocean has given the first detailed look at three World War II aircraft carriers that sank in the pivotal Battle of Midway and could help solve mysteries about the days-long barrage that marked a shift in control of the Pacific theater from Japanese to U.S. forces. Remote submersibles operating […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

On the brink of a government shutdown, the Senate tries to approve funding but it’s almost too late

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is on the brink of a federal government shutdown after hard-right Republicans in Congress rejected a longshot effort to keep offices open as they fight for steep spending cuts and strict border security measures that Democrats and the White House say are too extreme. With no deal in place […]

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

6 Western nations demand Russia return two regions it took from neighboring Georgia 15 years ago