Blinken says Russia must reverse its recognition of Abkhazia, South Ossetia

Blinken says Russia must reverse its recognition of Abkhazia, South Ossetia

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the anniversary of the Russian attack on Georgia in August 2008 issued a statement condemning Russian aggression and emphasizing solidarity with the Georgian and Ukrainian peoples who continue to suffer from the occupation.

The statement has been posted on the official website of the Department of State, Ukrinform reports.

"Fourteen years ago today, Russia invaded the sovereign nation of Georgia," the statement said.

It added that since 2008, the United States remembers those killed and injured by Russian forces.

"This year, Russia's unprovoked further invasion of Ukraine underscores the need for the people of Georgia and Ukraine to stand together in solidarity. The people of Georgia know all too well how Russia's aggressive actions, including disinformation, so-called 'borderization,' and mass displacement cause untold hardships and destruction," Blinken said.

He added that Russia must be accountable to the commitments it made under the 2008 ceasefire – withdrawing its forces to pre-conflict positions and allowing unfettered access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. In addition, he noted that Russia must reverse its recognition of Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions.

"This is essential for hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons to be able to return to their homes safely and with dignity," Blinken said.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry also issued a statement in connection with the anniversary of the Russian occupation of Georgian territories. Kyiv said that it strongly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders.

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