2/8 Tass 204
MOSCOW, August 2 (Itar-Tass) —— U.S. Senate’s resolutions on Russia’s alleged “occupation” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia fuels revanchist sentiments in Tbilisi, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Monday, commenting on the Senate resolution on Gerogia.
“The new resolution on Georgia passed by the U.S. Senate on July 29 looks like a stuck record,” he said. “It contains the entire set of clich·s and stock phrases about alleged ‘infringement on Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty’ so often heard from Washington in the past three years. Naturally, the subject of the so-called ‘occupation’ was also raised.”
According to Lukashevich, the Russia foreign ministry “more than once had to explain that it is absurd to use this term in this particular context.”
“There is not a single Russian servicemen in Georgia,” the Russian diplomat stressed. “There are Russian military contingents in the region, but they are deployed on the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, i.e. states officially recognized by Russia as sovereign after Mikhail Saakashvili’s criminal military venture in August 2008.” More to it, “Russian army units, and units of the Russian border service are staying there under relevant interstate agreements between Russia and these independent states, i.e. with their open sanction,” he noted.
“Generally speaking, the basic factor, from the point of view of international law, to recognize an occupation regime is one state’s effective control over the territory of another state and civilians living there, which means the installment of occupation authorities instead of local ones,” he said. “Russian army units however have replaced legitimate authorities neither in Abkhazia nor in South Ossetia. Neither Russia’s authorities nor Russian army units have ever issued any normative acts mandatory to the local population.”
“It means that allegations that Abkhazia and South Ossetia are occupied by Russia have neither actual nor legal grounds,” Lukashevich emphasized. “Pronouncements by U.S. Senators on this subject only prove their illiteracy in the area of international law or their flagrant disdain for actual facts.”
“All this proves that this resolution is nothing more than a populist exercise undertaken with the only purpose of putting in an appearance on the ‘Georgian topic,’” the Russian diplomat said.
“Such statements however are not harmless,” he warned. “They are feeding revanchist sentiments characteristic of Tbilisi’s policy, they seek to justify and encourage Georgia’s reluctance to speak with Sukhum and Tskhinval on mutually respectful equal terms.”
“But the key to peace, stability and prosperity in the region lies in establishing such dialogue. It should be born in mind, for American Senators as well,” Lukashevich concluded.