STATEMENT: On the Intended Signing of an Agreement between the De Facto Leaders in Georgia’s South Ossetia Region and the Russian Federation (March 17

BY JEN PSAKI, SPOKESPERSON

The United States’ position on South Ossetia and Abkhazia remains clear: these regions are integral parts of Georgia, and we continue to support Georgia’s independence, its sovereignty, and its territorial integrity.

The United States does not recognize the legitimacy of any so-called “treaty” between the de facto leaders of Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia and the Russian Federation.  Neither this agreement nor the one signed between Russia and the de facto leaders in Abkhazia in November 2014 constitutes a valid international agreement.

Russia should fulfill all of its obligations under the 2008 ceasefire agreement, withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions, reverse its recognition of the Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states, and provide free access for humanitarian assistance to these regions.

We continue to support the Geneva International Discussions as a means to achieving concrete progress on security and humanitarian issues that continue to impact the communities on the ground in Georgia. In this regard, we are concerned by reports that the signing of this so-called agreement may coincide with the current round of Geneva Discussions on the conflict in Georgia. The United States calls on all participants to seize the opportunity to make progress in this and future rounds.