OSCE Permanent Council No. 1400 Vienna, 24 November 2022

EU statement in reply to the Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions

  1. The European Union warmly welcomes the Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions (GID), Ambassador Viorel Moșanu, Ambassador Cihan Sultanoğlu, and Ambassador Toivo Klaar, to the Permanent Council and thanks them for their presentation. We highly appreciate the close cooperation the EU, the OSCE and the UN enjoy within the GID format.
  2. The EU values the unique role of the GID in facilitating a peaceful and sustainable resolution of this conflict and we reaffirm our continued active involvement in this format. However, the resolution of this conflict is only possible if there is a strong political will from all sides to implement their respective commitments and to engage constructively in the existing negotiating formats.
  3. We call on Russia to recommit itself to respecting Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and to fulfil its obligations under the EU-mediated agreement of 12 August 2008 and its subsequent implementing measures of 8 September 2008 in full and without further delay. The EU also urges Russia to ensure the proper follow-up of the landmark judgement of 21 January 2021 of the European Court of Human Rights in the case Georgia vs Russia.
  4. Due to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the GID meetings this year could not be held as per their usual frequency. However, we welcome the fact that on 5 October 2022 the 56th GID round was held in Switzerland and that the channels of communication between the Co-Chairs and the respective participants remained operational and uninterrupted during the entire year.
  5. The European Union expresses its concern with regard to the severe and lasting impact this conflict has on the overall security situation in conflict-affected regions of Georgia, as well as on the civilian population. The EU is also deeply concerned about the continued illegal Russian military presence and activities in Georgia, as well as about Russia’s attempts to de-facto integrate Georgia’s regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia/Tskhinvali region into Russia’s regulatory and security space, the ongoing “borderisation” activities, the restrictions on movement of civilians across the administrative boundary lines and the arbitrary detentions of Georgian citizens.
  6. We call on Russia to cease its illegal military presence in Georgia and to withdraw its troops from the internationally recognised territory of Georgia. We also call for the immediate and unconditional release of Mr Irakli Bebua, Ms Kristine Takalandze and all other illegally detained Georgian citizens.
  7. The EU is committed to further contribute to the work of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs) in order to maintain security on the ground. The IPRMs are a unique opportunity, together with the EUMM-managed hotline, to exchange information, discuss and solve concrete issues, defuse tensions, build confidence and maintain stability. We therefore welcome the fact that we have regular Ergneti IPRM meetings during 2022 and urge for the immediate and unconditional resumption of IPRM meetings in Gali, to be held in line with the established practices and without any preconditions. 
  8. In conclusion, as the EU stands united in condemning, in the strongest possible terms, Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine and the blatant breach of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by the Russian Federation since August 2008. The EU remains unwavering in its support to Georgia’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.
  9. Let us once again thank the GID Co-Chairs for their resolute work and reiterate our full support to their activities in the future.

The Candidate Countries NORTH MACEDONIA*, MONTENEGRO*, ALBANIA*,
UKRAINE, and the REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA, the Potential Candidate Country
GEORGIA, and the EFTA countries ICELAND, LIECHTENSTEIN and NORWAY,
members of the European Economic Area, as well as ANDORRA and SAN
MARINO align themselves with this statement.

* North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Albania continue to be part of the
Stabilisation and Association Process.