U.S. Embassy Statement on the 13th Anniversary of the August War

Thirteen years ago, Russia invaded the sovereign nation of Georgia. Since that time, thousands of residents have been displaced, persecuted, and impoverished. Many have lost their lives.

Russia’s aggressive actions, including “borderization” and detention of Georgian citizens, have caused untold hardships. The human costs of the occupation have been particularly grave during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Ongoing obstruction of access to life-saving humanitarian and medical assistance for residents of Georgia’s occupied regions has needlessly cost lives and must end immediately. Those citizens still being detained by occupation forces should be released immediately without preconditions.

We continue to express our support for the Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) and note that the Gali IPRM has been suspended for far too long and must be reinitiated.

Russia’s commitments under the 2008 ceasefire agreement are clear: Russia must withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions and allow unfettered access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. We once again call on Russia to reverse its recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.  It is essential for hundreds of thousands of IDPs to be able to return to their homes safely and with dignity.  The United States’ commitment to our friends and partners in Georgia remains steadfast.  We stand with the people of Georgia living on both sides of the Administrative Boundary Lines and join them in calling for these communities, divided by Russian aggression, to be united once again.