L. Linkevičius: Our joint visit to Sakartvelo reminds the world about the lessons learned during the Russian-Georgian war
On 6-7 August, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius, together with the Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Krzysztof Czaputowicz, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia Edgars Rinkēvičs and the Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko, is visiting Sakartvelo (Georgia) on the occasion of the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Russian military aggression against Saktarvelo.
"Ten years ago, our country leaders headed here, to Tbilisi, to stop the Russian troops that were approaching the capital of Saktarvelo and to show the world that Sakartvelo did not stand alone in the face of aggression – it had the support of a free and democratic international community. Today, while in Tbilisi, we remind the world of a sad reality. 20 percent of the territory of Sakartvelo – a sovereign European country – remain separated and occupied after a decade. In addition, the international agreements concluded with the aggressor - Russia - are not working. Russia has not implemented its commitments undertaken under the six-point Ceasefire Agreement of 12 August 2008, nor has it withdrawn the troops from Georgia," said the Lithuanian Foreign Minister.
"We want to remind the world of the lessons learned during the Russian-Georgian war at the time, when the international community closes its eyes and rushes to normalize ties with the aggressor – Russia. Russia was not stopped in due time and it has committed aggression against another sovereign neighboring country. That is why unlike the heads of our states in 2008, this time we could not stop in Russia‘s illegally annexed Crimea," said L. Linkevičius.
"Today we once again reaffirm the right of every sovereign nation to determine freely its own destiny and form its foreign policy. We welcome Sakartvelo's progress in the field of European and Euro-Atlantic integration, support the implementation of difficult, but necessary reforms in this country, and urge the people of Georgia to maintain their pace," said the head of Lithuania‘s diplomacy.
During the visit to Sakartvelo, Linkevičius said that Lithuania stood in solidarity with this country and had included in the list of undesirable persons those responsible for human rights abuses in the occupied territories of Sakartvelo - the Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions. The leaders of Sakartvelo highly appreciated this step taken by Lithuania. Lithuania became the first country to do this.
The representatives of Lithuania, Poland, Latvia and Ukraine met with the Prime Minister of Sakartvelo, the Speaker of the Parliament, visited the occupation line in the region of Tskhinvali/South Ossetia, issued a Joint Communique. Together with the leaders of Sakartvelo and members of the Government, they participated in a round table discussion "Ten years after the Russian-Georgian war", a wreath-laying ceremony at the Mukhatgverdi Cemetery and will also meet with the President of Sakartvelo.
On 12 August 2008, when the Russian troops were approaching Tbilisi, the leaders of Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Ukraine (President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus, President of Poland Lech Kaczyński, President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko and Latvian Prime Minister Ivars Guodmanis) paid a similar visit to Sakartvelo to lend their support.