Norway on the wounding and illegal detention of a Georgian citizen by Russian-led forces

Delivered by Ambassador Steffen Kongstad to the Permanent Council, Vienna, 17 July 2020



Norway remains deeply concerned about the continued occupation of Georgian territory. We condemn the illegal borderisation taking place along the Administrative Boundary Lines (ABL) of occupied Abkhasia and South Ossetia.

On 11 July, a Georgian citizen was shot, wounded, and detained near the village of Kvemo Chala, along the Administrative Boundary Line of South Ossetia. The incident is troubling, and we call for his immediate release. Regrettably, this incident is yet another example of provocative actions by Russian-led forces that lead to an escalation of the conflict and increase the hardship and suffering of the local population.

Norway also remains concerned about the situation in several hotspots along the Administrative Boundary Lines, including in the area Chorchana-Tsnelisi.

Continuing and incremental borderisation leads to even more severe limitations on the freedom of movement of the population living around the Administrative Boundary Lines, and has a detrimental effect on other human rights, such as the right to health, education, and livelihood.

We take this opportunity once again to commend the work of the EU Monitoring Mission in monitoring the Administrative Boundary Lines. Yet again, we urge the parties to heed the call of the Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions.

We call on Russia to fulfil its commitments under the six-point ceasefire agreement of 2008, including the withdrawal of its forces to pre-conflict positions, and ensuring free and unimpeded humanitarian access.

Norway reaffirms its unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders.

Thank you

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