March 23, joint statement on Abkhazia

23 March 2017

"Mr Chair,

I make this statement on behalf of Canada and Norway.

Two weeks after urging Russia and the de-facto authorities of the breakaway regions to refrain from actions that violate Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, Canada and Norway once again unite their voices to share the concerns expressed by the EU and the US on the illegitimate so-called "parliamentary elections" conducted in Georgian territory without the consent of its Government.

Moreover, Canada and Norway are alarmed by Russia’s so-called "military agreement" with South Ossetia separatists. The so-called "agreement" represents a further step in the gradual integration of Georgia’s breakaway regions into Russia’s governing structures. Such measures violate the sovereignty of Georgia, and we are pressing all parties for continued constructive engagement and dialogue through the Geneva International Discussions.

Once again, these destabilising developments underline the need for re-establishing a robust OSCE presence in Georgia, with a mandate covering the entirety of the country, and all three dimensions.

We reiterate our call on the Russian Federation to abide by the fundamental principles of international law and to fully respect its commitments under the OSCE, in particular, the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and the Agreement on Implementing Measures of 8 September 2008.

Our countries reiterate their full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders.

Thank you, Mr Chair."