U.S. reaffirms its support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity
On September 8th, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan Resolution (H.Res.660) in support of Georgia’s territorial integrity. The Resolution, led by Co-Chairs of the U.S. House Georgia Caucus — Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Gerald Connolly (D-Virginia), had bipartisan support and was co-sponsored by 31 members — both Republican and Democratic members of the House of Representatives.
The Resolution is one of the most important reflections of the U.S.’s backing of Georgia and its territorial integrity. It reiterates the high level of U.S. political support towards Georgia and condemns Russia’s military intervention and occupation, calling on Russia to stop undermining Georgia’s sovereignty.
The Resolution condemns the military intervention and occupation of Georgia by the Russian Federation and its continuous illegal activities along the occupation line in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia. It calls upon the Russian Federation to withdraw its recognition of Georgia’s territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia as independent countries, to refrain from acts and policies that undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia, and to take steps to fulfill all the terms and conditions of the August 12, 2008 Ceasefire Agreement between Georgia and the Russian Federation. The Resolution also stresses the necessity of progress on core issues within the Geneva International Discussions.
“The young democracy of Georgia is a valuable U.S. ally threatened by the cold Russian winds of authoritarianism”, said Congressman Ted Poe. “The illegal Russian occupation of Georgia is not a simple matter of territory. It is an attack on ideas; it is an assault of the very freedoms and liberties we hold dear. This resolution states that without a doubt, our friends in Georgia and the region must know that the U.S. will not waiver in its longstanding support for its allies in the face of the Napoleon of Siberia.”
“Passage of this resolution serves as a clear and unequivocal statement in support of the sovereign territory of Georgia and reiterates the longstanding policy of the United States to not recognize territorial changes effected by force”, noted Congressman Connolly. “In Georgia and elsewhere, Russia has committed gross violations of these principles by fomenting unrest and aiding separatist movements in its neighboring countries. This resolution sends an important message to Moscow that the United States condemns this behavior and will remain focused on countering and reversing such acts of aggression.”
The Resolution urges the U.S. Government to unequivocally support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and continue its non-recognition policy, similar to that successfully implemented vis-à-vis the Baltic States — namely, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Since the first day of the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States, the U.S. never recognized those states as part of the USSR. According to the resolution, the United States House of representatives urges the United States Government to declare unequivocally that the United States will not recognize the de jure or de facto control of the Russian Federation over any part of Georgia, its airspace, or its territorial waters, including Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, under any circumstances. Therefore, the Resolution has not just symbolic importance, but it represents the U.S.’s long-term significant support towards Georgia and its future generations.
House Acts in Support of Georgian Sovereignty, Foreign Affairs Committee, Press Release
House Passes Poe-Connolly Bill to Support Territorial Integrity of Georgia Press-Release
Chairman Ed ROYCE — Address/Video
Rep. Eliot ENGEL (D-NY) — Address
Rep. Ted POE (R-TX) — Address
Rep. Gregory MEEKS — Statement
Rep. Adam KINZINGER (R-IL) — Statement
Senator Jeanne SHAHEEN — Statement