Procedure : 2018/2741(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0277/2018

Texts tabled :

B8-0277/2018

Debates :

Votes :

PV 14/06/2018 - 7.11
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0266

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 261kWORD 48k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0275/2018
11.6.2018
PE621.675v01-00
 
B8-0277/2018

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure


on Georgian occupied territories 10 years after the Russian invasion (2018/2741(RSP))


Petras Auštrevičius, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Dita Charanzová, Gérard Deprez, Martina Dlabajová, Marian Harkin, Ivan Jakovčić, Petr Ježek, Louis Michel, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Jozo Radoš, Frédérique Ries, Robert Rochefort, Marietje Schaake, Jasenko Selimovic on behalf of the ALDE Group

European Parliament resolution on Georgian occupied territories 10 years after the Russian invasion (2018/2741(RSP))  
B8‑0277/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Georgia and the situation in the Eastern Neighbourhood,

–  having regard to the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008, mediated by the EU and signed by Georgia and the Russian Federation, and the implementation agreement of 8 September 2008,

–  having regard to the deployment of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM Georgia) on 15 September 2008,

–  having regard to the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, which came into force on 1 July 2016, and to the entry into force on 28 March 2017 of the visa-free regime between the EU and Georgia,

–  having regard to the Commission’s Association Implementation Report on Georgia of 9 November 2017 (SWD(2017)0371),

–  having regard to the statements by the Spokesperson of the European External Action Service on developments in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,

–  having regard to the statement of 28 February 2018 by the Chairman of the Delegation to the EU-Azerbaijan Parliamentary Cooperation Committee and the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee, Sajjad Karim, on the death of a Georgian citizen in South Ossetia,

–  having regard to the final statement and recommendations of 26 April 2018 by the EU-Georgia Parliamentary Association Committee in Brussels pursuant to Article 411(3) of the Association Agreement,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the Government of Georgia has continued to make progress towards democracy and the rule of law, and forge closer ties with the European Union; whereas as a result of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement / Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (AA/DCFTA), which came into force on 1 July 2016, both parties have benefited from closer political association and intensified economic and cultural exchanges; whereas Georgia is complying with the agreed timelines regarding the implementation of commitments stemming from the AA;

B.  whereas visa-free travel between the EU and Georgia came into effect on 28 March 2017 and has resulted in increased mobility and enhanced people-to-people contacts; whereas the EU-Georgia Visa Liberalisation Dialogue has proved to be an effective tool for advancing wide-ranging reforms;

C.  whereas the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia are undermined by the unresolved regional conflicts in the Georgian occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia; whereas 10 years after the Russia-Georgia military conflict, the Russian Federation continues to be in breach of its international obligations and in contradiction of the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008;

D.  whereas the EU strongly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders; whereas the EU remains strongly committed to and actively supports conflict resolution efforts through the work of the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia, and the EUMM, and through the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace;

E.  whereas the Russian Federation continues to take steps towards de facto annexation of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, thus undermining international law; whereas 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; whereas 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;

F.  whereas the Russian armed forces continue to isolate the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions from the rest of the country by closing crossing points, installing barbed wire fences and other artificial barriers, and further extending the administrative boundary line (ABL); whereas the EUMM’s access to both Abkhazia and South Ossetia is blocked, in contradiction of the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008;

G.  whereas the human rights situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia has deteriorated over the last few years, with intimidation and repression of Georgian citizens, related to ethnic discrimination and forcible demographic changes, restrictions on the freedom of movement, property rights and mother-tongue education;

H.  whereas the International Criminal Court has opened an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed by all sides in the conflict;

I.  whereas during closing evidence before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on 23 May 2018, Georgia accused the Russian Federation of war crimes and human rights violations during the conflict in 2008, including Russian forces carrying out indiscriminate attacks against civilians and their property in different parts of Georgia, including Abkhazia and South Ossetia; whereas the Russian Federation denies all allegations;

1.  Welcomes the in-depth engagement and efforts by Georgia in deepening relations with the EU based on AA/DCFTA commitments and aspirations to European integration; considers it of utmost importance that the Georgian authorities continue to uphold democracy and respect human and minority rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law;

2.  Reaffirms its support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders; remains firmly committed to conflict resolution and its policy of non-recognition and engagement in Georgia, using all instruments at its disposal as part of a comprehensive approach;

3.  Demands that the Russian Federation end its occupation of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, fully respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia, and adhere to the binding commitments of the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008, especially with regard to the commitment to withdraw all its military forces;

4.  Expresses serious concern over the denial of access to international and regional monitors; insists on the imperative of unhindered access by international human rights monitoring mechanisms under international organisations, including by the United Nations and the EUMM, to the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia;

5.  Demands that the Russian Federation reverse its decision on the recognition of the so-called independence of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia;

6.  Condemns the deliberate destruction of dozens of Georgian villages and churches in the occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and the deliberate attempt to erase traces of Georgia on the occupied regions;

7.  Regrets that the Geneva International Discussions have largely regressed to a standstill; calls for the EU to take a more proactive role in guiding dialogue with all stakeholders within the Geneva International Discussions with the aim of agreeing, in the upcoming rounds of discussions, on a joint statement on the non-use of force by all sides; calls, in this connection, on the Russian Federation to adhere to the principle of peaceful conflict resolution, by reciprocating the unilateral commitment of Georgia to the non-use of force, as declared by the President of Georgia in his speech to the European Parliament on 23 November 2010;

8.  Welcomes the new peace initiative of the Georgian Government entitled ‘A Step to a Better Future’, which could benefit the populations living on both sides of the ABL by facilitating trade, education and mobility, and fostering people-to-people contacts and confidence building between the divided communities;

9.  Is deeply concerned about the deterioration of the human rights situation in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, in particular with regard to ethnic discrimination, freedom of movement, property rights and mother-tongue education, and about persistent obstacles to the rights of internally displaced persons and refugees to a safe and dignified return to their homes;

10.  Expresses its deep concern over the death in custody of the Georgian citizen Archil Tatunashvili in Tskhinvali in February 2018 and the assassination in May 2018 of the Georgian citizen Giga Otkhzoria in close proximity to the occupation line near Abkhazia; emphasises the need to address properly this and similar cases to avoid repetition and the raising of tensions; underlines the need to avoid impunity and calls for a thorough investigation into these cases, for those responsible for the above-mentioned crimes to be brought to justice and for cooperation among all sides, including in the framework of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism;

11.  Calls on the Russian Federation to cease further borderisation of the ABL by installing barbed wire fences and other artificial barriers; calls also for an end to the encroachment into territory controlled by the Georgian Government and further extension of the ABL, intentionally hindering people-to-people contacts and isolating the population of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions;

12.  Recalls that the EUMM is the only permanent international presence on the ground, providing impartial information on the situation along the ABL, and calls for the extension of its mandate beyond 14 December 2018;

13.  Reiterates that those responsible for violations of international law, on all sides of the conflict, should be held to account; reiterates, in this connection, its strong support for the ongoing International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation and the ongoing case before the European Court of Human Rights; calls on all parties to respect the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights which is expected later this year;

14.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the EEAS, the OSCE, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the governments and parliaments of the Eastern Partnership countries and the Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation.

 

Last updated: 12 June 2018Legal notice