TBILISI, DFWatch – The Russian military presence in Georgia’s breakaway regions are increasingly being called an occupation.
The first to use the term was U.S. representatives. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used the term during a visit to Tbilisi in 2010. Representatives of European countries have been careful about using the term ‘occupation’, until July, 2010, when the French Foreign Affairs Minister said while in Tbilisi that only one term could not solve anything. Then the expression was written into an official document adopted by the Council of the Europe.
The chronology of usage of the term ‘occupation’ is the following:
In April of 2010, the Georgian parliament’s foreign affairs committee appealed to legislative bodies of 31 countries, asking to declare Georgia’s two regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia as territories under Russian occupation and to recognize that the massive displacement of civilians from those regions by Russia amounts to ethnic cleansing.
In May 2010 the Council of Europe considered using the term ‘occupied territories’ in a resolution about the South Caucasus, but it was later taken out of the draft and the final document adopted on May 20 did not contain the term.
In July 2010, the Lithuanian Seimas adopted a resolution condemning Russian ‘aggression’ and ‘occupation’ of Georgian territories.
In July the same year, Hillary Clinton during a visit to Tbilisi described the situation in Georgia’s separatist regions as a Russian occupation.
In July 2010, the Georgian parliament passed a resolution which declared Georgia as being occupied by Russia since 1921 and noted that Russia has occupied 20 percent of Georgia.
In September of 2010, the Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili held a speech in the UN General Assembly, and during his speech called for UN member countries to recognize that Russia is occupying parts of Georgia.
In November the same year, NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly adopted a resolution containing the terms ‘occupation’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’.
The same month, EU diplomats adopted a statement in the Council of Europe, where the term ‘Georgia’s occupied territories’ was used regarding Abkhazia and South Ossetia. But this document was for internal usage and did not get published.
In December 2010, the U.S. Senate discussed a resolution called ‘Resolution on Occupation’. It was prepared by Jean Shaheen, representative from New Hampshire. The draft expressed support fpr Georgia’s territorial integrity and recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as ‘regions occupied by the Russian Federation.’
In March 2011, a document adopted by the Council of Europe once again used the term ‘occupation.’
This document mentions Russia’s occupation of Georgian territories, ethnic cleansing, non-fulfillment of the seize-fire agreement of August 12, 2008, and talks about the necessity to get in place peace keeping forces in Abkhazia and so-called South Ossetia. The document also speaks about serious problems in regards to ecology, in relation to the Sochi Olympics.
In November 2011, the term ‘occupation’ was for the first time used in an official Council of Europe document, in a resolution about Georgia. The text of the resolution says that Russia should end its occupation of Georgian territory. The resolution asks Russia to live up to the seize-fire agreement signed in 2008. There are several chapters in the resolution.
In October 2011, NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly passed a resolution which also uses the term ‘occupation’.
In November 2011, the Council of Europe passed a resolution regarding Georgia, in which they call for EU countries to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as ‘occupied territories.’
27 countries which are members of the Council of Europe and the EU adopted a five-point document about the Russia-Georgian war in connection with a report by the Council of Europe’s Secretary General. In this resolution, the term ‘occupation’ is used.
It says that the EU supports the Council of Europe’s efforts to engage in the situation in Georgia and calls on the Secretary General to strengthen his contact with each party, so that the EU mission is able to act on Georgia’s occupied territories, in regards to letting refugees return home.
The OSCE’s Parliamentary Assembly is also to adopt a document about Georgia, which also uses the term ‘occupation.’https://dfwatch.net/osce-says-russia-is-occupying-georgian-regions-31456