Death of Georgian Citizen Archil Tatunashvili in South Ossetia (February 26)
The United States is deeply concerned by the death of Georgian citizen Archil Tatunashvili during his February 22 arrest and detention in Tskhinvali. We express our condolences to Mr. Tatunashvili’s family and call on the responsible persons, including Russian officials exercising de facto control over Georgia’s South Ossetia region, to provide the Georgian government with a full accounting of the circumstances of this tragic incident. The United States is also deeply concerned by the arrest of Georgian citizens Levan Kutashvili and Ioseb Pavliashvili and calls on the de facto authorities to allow their immediate freedom of movement across the administrative boundary line. We continue to encourage all sides to agree on additional measures to strengthen mutual confidence and transparency in the affected region.
The United States reiterates its full support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders and rejects Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. We once again urge Russia to fulfill all of its obligations under the 2008 ceasefire agreement, to withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions, to reverse its recognition of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, and to provide free access for humanitarian assistance to these regions. We also reiterate our call for justice in the May 2016 murder of Georgian citizen Giga Otkhozoria along the administrative boundary line of the occupied territory of Abkhazia in Georgia.