4 April 2020
Moscow: 18:08
London: 16:08

Consular queries:  
+44 (0) 203 668 7474  
info@rusemb.org.uk  

 
762 days have passed since the Salisbury incident - no credible information or response from the British authorities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     754 days have passed since the death of Nikolay Glushkov on British soil - no credible information or response from the British authorities

PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

08.08.2018

Comment by the Information and Press Department on the 10th anniversary of the August 2008 events in the Caucasus

Ten years ago, on the night of August 7-8, 2008, the Government of Mikheil Saakashvili in Georgia breached the agreement on a peaceful settlement of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict by launching a full-scale military operation against South Ossetia.

Georgia’s aggression against Tskhinval, which has been universally recognised as a party to the conflict, had not been provoked in any way. Under the 1992 agreement signed between Russia and Georgia in Sochi, security in South Ossetia was maintained by the Joint Peacekeeping Forces (JPKF), comprising three battalions from Russia, South Ossetia and Georgia. There was also a Joint Control Commission comprising Russia, Georgia, North Ossetia and South Ossetia. Despite Georgia’s repeated attempts to revise the Sochi agreement, at the time of the conflict the Russian peacekeepers were deployed in South Ossetia legally within the framework of an internationally recognised settlement mechanism. OSCE observers had also been deployed in South Ossetia since 1992.

As for Abkhazia, it was officially recognised a party to the conflict in the documents adopted by the UN Security Council, including Resolution 1808, one of the recent documents adopted on this issue. A UN Observer Mission was deployed there alongside the CIS Collective Peacekeeping Force.

Late at night on August 7, Georgian forces launched a large-scale artillery attack on Tskhinval, which lasted until the following morning. Georgian General Mamuka Kurashvili announced in a televised statement that “Georgia has launched an operation to restore constitutional order in South Ossetia.” Georgia’s Grad multiple launch rocket systems stationed around Tskhinval shelled the South Ossetian capital, making no distinction between military and residential targets. On August 8, the Georgian army, supported by tanks and armoured vehicles as well as the special operations forces of the Interior Ministry, entered Tskhinval.

At the same time, the Georgian army attacked the Russian peacekeepers’ settlement. Some time before that, the Georgian military observers covertly left the area of the peacekeepers’ joint headquarters and observation posts. On August 8-10, the peacekeeping battalion repelled at least five Georgian attacks. Ten Russian peacekeepers were killed and some 40 wounded. The buildings and equipment in the peacekeepers’ settlement were destroyed or seriously damaged.

The Georgian attacks devastated Tskhinval. The majority of residential blocks were razed to the ground or damaged. The city’s utility and other critical infrastructure as well as industrial facilities were damaged, along with several villages near Tskhinval.

In light of direct threat to the life of Russian citizens in South Ossetia, the Russian leadership decided to launch an operation to enforce peace on Georgia.

The fact that it was Georgia who launched the aggression was later officially confirmed, including in the report of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia, which was established by decision of the Council of the European Union and chaired by Heidi Tagliavini from Switzerland. The report was published in autumn 2009.

The participation of the Russian armed forces in repelling the attack on South Ossetia was legitimate and in keeping with the right of self-defence as stipulated in Article 51 of the UN Charter. The Russian Federation used its armed forces in response to a large-scale Georgian attack on the Russian peacekeeping units that were deployed in South Ossetia legally and with Georgia’s permission. As per Article 51 of the UN Charter, Russia notified the UN Security Council of the application of the right of self-defence.

The Russian military operation in South Ossetia was launched solely to stop the Georgian aggression and to prevent a recurrence of aggression. The planning and implementation of that operation was strictly commensurate to the threat from Georgia. Upon completing the operation, the units of the Russian Armed Forces taking part in it were pulled back from Georgia in October 2008 in accordance with the principles for a settlement of the conflict coordinated by President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and President of France Nicolas Sarkozy (the Medvedev-Sarkozy six-point plan, which is often mistakenly referred to a ceasefire agreement) and the subsequent agreements of September 8, 2008.

On August 26, 2008, Russia recognised the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in keeping with the relevant provisions of the UN Charter, the 1970 UN Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States, the 1975 Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and other fundamental international documents. The attack on South Ossetia and preparations for a similar operation against Abkhazia, which were the final stage of Georgia’s years-long policy of coercion against these nations, left them with no other option than to protect their security and the right to existence by proclaiming their self-determination as independent states.

By recognising the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Russia also assumed responsibility not only for their security but also largely for their development as modern, democratic and socially and economically prosperous countries. The establishment of diplomatic relations with them on September 9, 2008 and the signing of the Treaties of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance on September 17, 2008 provided the basis for Russia’s active interaction with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

On September 8, 2008, the presidents of Russia and France approved their plan of August 12, which set out six principles for the settlement of these conflicts. Based on this plan, a new international format on stability and security in the South Caucasus, the Geneva International Discussions (GID), was launched on October 15, 2008. This event formalised the new political and legal realities that developed in the region following the Georgian military operation, much as some forces would like to present this in a different light. It has been agreed that representatives of Abkhazia, Georgia, South Ossetia, the EU, the OSCE, the UN, Russia and the United States will be equally represented at the Geneva discussions as direct parties to the settlement that are interested in maintaining stability and security in the South Caucasus. The EU, the OSCE and the UN co-chair the Geneva discussions by agreement between the parties.

The main lesson of the 2008 tragedy is that it is senseless and counterproductive to try to use force to settle international disputes or conflicts, especially when the issue concerns the complex and delicate sphere of ethnic relations. The use of violence in such cases can only have the most painful and sometimes irremediable consequences. Over the ensuing period, Russia has been working in the South Caucasus to resume dialogue and comprehensive negotiations between Georgia on the one hand, and Abkhazia and South Ossetia on the other hand. The first step towards this goal could be the signing of non-use-of-force agreements. We hope that common sense will prevail after all.

http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3315007

 

 




LATEST EVENTS

03.04.2020 - Embassy comment regarding Russian humanitarian aid to combat Covid-19

British media continue publications seeking to find discrepancies and hidden agenda of Russian humanitarian assistance rendered to the United States and Italy in order to help them combat the coronavirus pandemic.


27.03.2020 - Vladimir Putin took part in the Extraordinary Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit

Vladimir Putin took part in the Extraordinary Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit. The summit focused on fighting the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the global economy.


25.03.2020 - Foreign Ministry Statement urging to immediately stop hostilities, March 25, 2020

In view of the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation is urging all parties to regional armed conflicts to immediately stop hostilities, secure a ceasefire, and introduce a humanitarian pause.


24.03.2020 - Embassy comment on speculations around Russia’s aid to Italy

We have been dismayed by the article “Putin flexes soft power muscles with medical aid airlift to Italy” appearing in the Financial Times on 24 March. It contains perverted facts along with politicised statements from experts whose world view does not accept good deeds by Russia.


20.03.2020 - Embassy comment regarding British media accusations against Russia regarding disinformation on the coronavirus

British press are claiming that “Russian state media” are spreading disinformation and escalating the situation in Europe with regard to the coronavirus pandemic. Russia is alleged to be again attempting to set panic and stir controversy in Western societies. It is noteworthy that these publications refer Russian talk shows and opinion articles in online media. They represent personal views and have nothing to do with the Russian state.


17.03.2020 - Entry into the Russian Federation is temporarily restricted for foreign citizens and stateless persons from 18 March 2020 to 1 May 2020

In order to ensure state security, protect public health and prevent the spread of new coronavirus infection in the Russian Federation, from 18 March 2020 to 1 May 2020, entry into the Russian Federation is temporarily restricted for foreign citizens and stateless persons.


16.03.2020 - Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on the start of the MH17 trial at the District Court of The Hague

The first session of the trial on the crash of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014 started in the District Court of The Hague on March 9-10. During the previous briefing we gave detailed coverage of this issue on the eve of the trial. We said the Western media had launched an unprecedented accusatory media campaign that has become direct pressure on the court and an aggravation of anti-Russia sentiment. Now that the first session has been held, it is clear that our evaluation was well grounded. Although the court dealt only with procedural issues in this session, like the schedule and the order of the sessions, and the presence of participants, the frenzy over the trial has not abated. On the contrary, it has been fueled by some Western politicians, investigators and prosecutors.


06.03.2020 - Additional Protocol to the Memorandum on Stabilization of the Situation in the Idlib De-Escalation Area

The Republic of Turkey and the Russian Federation, as guarantors of the observance of the ceasefire regime in the Syrian Arab Republic... Have agreed as follows, 1- Cease all military actions along the line of contact in the Idlib De-escalation area starting from 00:01 of March 6, 2020. 2- A security corridor will be established 6 km deep to the north and 6 km deep to the south from highway M4. Specific parameters of the functioning of the security corridor will be agreed between the Defense Ministries of the Turkish Republic and the Russian Federation within 7 days. 3- On March 15, 2020, joint Turkish-Russian patrolling will begin along highway M4 from the settlement of Trumba (2 km to the west from Saraqib) to the settlement of Ain-AI-Havr; This additional protocol enters into force from the moment of signing.


04.03.2020 - Embassy comment on the second anniversary of the Salisbury incident

Today marks two years since Russian nationals Sergei and Yulia Skripal were involved in an incident in Salisbury. Back in March 2018, the British government was quick in laying the blame on Russia. Huge damage was done to Russian-British political relations. However, both we and the public are yet to see convincing evidence to support the official version of what happened. Instead, the British narrative is full of discrepancies and raises a great deal of specific questions that remain unanswered.


04.03.2020 - Ambassador Andrei Kelin met with members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Russia

On 3 March, Ambassador Andrei Kelin had a meeting with the members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Russia. Members of both the House of Lords and the House of Commons representing all major political parties in the country participated in the meeting.



all messages