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President Adamkus encourages the international community to maintain a strong focus on the unilateral steps by the Russian Federation


2008.04.23

Wednesday, April 23, Vilnius – President Valdas Adamkus sent a letter to the leaders of EU member states, the European Commission, NATO, the United Nations, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe concerning Russia’s actions in respect of some territorial areas of Georgia.

“The international community has repeatedly made a special focus on the peaceful resolution of the so-called “frozen conflicts” in Georgia.

We remember the strong language of the OSCE declarations adopted at the Lisbon and Istanbul summits, reaffirming the utmost support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within internationally recognized borders. The declarations clearly expressed a condemnation of “ethnic cleansing” by the separatist authorities of Abkhazia, which resulted in massive destruction and the forcible expulsion of predominantly Georgian population. Despite international efforts, hundreds of thousands of displaced persons have not yet returned home.

We should highlight the efforts made by the Georgian authorities to pursue a constructive and cooperative dialogue with the self-declared separatist authorities to find a peaceful solution to the conflicts. In this respect, we particularly welcome the new initiative put forward by the President of Georgia to advance a negotiated political resolution of the Abkhazia conflict.

At the same time, I am greatly concerned about the unilateral decisions and actions taken by some parties in conflict resolution, namely the Russian Federation, to establish official ties with the institutions of the self-declared separatist authorities in South Ossetia and Abkhazia without the consent of the Government of Georgia. Such activities undermine the international community’s commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within internationally recognized borders, destabilize the situation in the region, and damage international instruments and formats aimed at peaceful solution of the conflicts.

I do hope and encourage the UN, NATO, OSCE, and EU leadership collectively as well as EU and NATO Member States individually to maintain a strong focus on the unilateral steps by the Russian Federation, previously seen as a “facilitator” of the peace process in these conflicts.

Moreover, it is important that the EU and NATO adopt a more ambitious approach towards Georgia, first of all, speeding up the pending visa and free trade issues and paving the way for Georgia’s more speedy euro-integration. The NATO allies should see MAP as an opportunity for Georgia to reform the country, which in its own turn would facilitate the resolution of frozen conflicts.

Lithuania reiterates its firm commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia. We hope that the international community and the relevant bodies will take appropriate steps with respect to the current situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” Valdas Adamkus writes in his letter. 

Press Service of the President

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