The European Parliament Resolution on Georgian Occupied Territories 10 Years After the Russian Invasion “comprehensively and clearly describes the Russian invasion of 2008 and the difficult and dangerous situation in the region,” Anna Fotyga, a Polish MEP who initiated and helped draft the resolution, said, as quoted by the niezalezna.pl website.
“The very title of the document clearly defines who was the aggressor in 2008, and who is today the occupant," niezalezna.pl quoted Fotyga as saying.
The resolution says that “10 years after the Russian military aggression in Georgia of August 2008, the Russian Federation still continues its illegal occupation of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, undermining international law and the rules-based international system.”
The document adds that “the so-called integration and alliance treaties signed between Russia and Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2014 and 2015 were clear violations of international law, OSCE principles and Russia’s international commitments.”
The European Parliament noted in its resolution that “the European Union does not recognise the framework of the so-called elections and a referendum held by Russia-backed separatists in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2016 and 2017.”
'Outstanding role' of late Polish leader Lech Kaczyński
Poland’s Fotyga said, as quoted by niezalezna.pl: “The resolution that we adopted in the European Parliament today reminds the global public of Russia's invasion of Georgia in August 2008 and of its occupation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.”
Fotyga was quoted as saying she was happy the resolution “recognises the outstanding role of the Central and Eastern European leaders who, led by the former Polish President Lech Kaczyński, immediately headed to Tbilisi, a trip that – combined with the involvement of the United States – made it possible to stop the Russian advance toward the Georgian capital.”
The resolution Fotyga helped draft was supported by the five largest groups within the European Parliament, niezalezna.pl reported.
According to the Polish website, the resolution passed by MEPs incorporates conclusions from two missions to Georgia led by Fotyga, who was Poland's foreign minister from 2006 to 2007.
The resolution says that “Russia continues to isolate Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia from the rest of the country by closing additional crossing points, putting in place physical barriers along the administrative boundary line (ABL) and conducting a campaign aimed at eradicating Georgian culture.”
The document also refers to “a process known as a ‘borderisation,’ in some places coming very close to critical infrastructure such as motorways and gas pipelines.”
The resolution states that “a joint ad-hoc visit to Georgia on 12 August 2008 of Central and Eastern European leaders – Lech Kaczyński, President of Poland, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia, Valdas Adamkus, President of Lithuania, Ivars Godmanis, Prime Minister of Latvia and Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine – is widely seen as a major factor that stopped the Russian advance towards Tbilisi when troops were only 50 km from the Georgian capital, and facilitated the brokering of the ceasefire by the French presidency of the Council of the EU.”
The European Parliament also said in its resolution that "the 2008 invasion was Russia’s first major open attack on the European order" and that "it was later followed by others, including the annexation of Crimea and the war in Eastern Ukraine.”
MEPs called on EU institutions to “adopt an approach consistent with that of the European Parliament and the policies of the national parliaments of the Member States by using clearer and more precise terms in defining Russian aggression in Georgia as occupation by the Russian Federation of the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.”
Support for Georgia
Late Polish President Lech Kaczyński made a trip to Tbilisi in August 2008, together with the presidents of Ukraine, Lithuania and Estonia, to show solidarity with Georgia in the face of Russia's invasion of that country, according to accounts by officials.
Former NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said that Lech Kaczyński was right when he warned the international community over Russia's intentions regarding Georgia as well as Ukraine in 2008.
Lech Kaczyński said at the time that "Georgia will be first, then Ukraine, and then maybe the Baltic states and Poland," according to reports.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in December reiterated his country’s support for Georgia joining NATO and the European Union.
Georgia has reportedly accused Russia of war crimes and human rights violations during the military conflict in 2008.
In proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights, the government in Tbilisi has said Russia bombed civilian areas in Georgia during the fighting almost 10 years ago, Britain’s The Guardian reported in late May.
Source: niezalezna.pl, europarl.europa.eu