The EU regrets Russia’s decision to block agreement in the UN Security Council despite efforts to accommodate the concerns of all parties involved and also regrets the Russian veto on the technical roll-over of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) to extend the presence of the Mission.
The Mission has proven to be an effective confidence-building measure and an important tool for enhancing stability and security in Georgia as well as the whole South Caucasus region. Its termination further complicates the already volatile situation in the region and is clearly not in the interest of the civilians in this conflict zone. There continues to be need to create the security conditions to allow unhindered access for humanitarian aid and the prospect for IDPs to return to their homes in safety and dignity.
The non-renewal of the UNOMIG mandate removes an element of independent oversight by the international community over the developments in the region including the implementation of the agreements of 12 August and 8 September 2008. The EU calls on all parties to implement these two agreements in full and reiterates its strong support for the remaining mechanisms: The EU reaffirms its commitment to the EU Monitoring Mission as well as its support for the ongoing discussions in Geneva, and calls on all participants to pursue these discussions in a constructive manner. The EU calls on all parties with forces on the ground to exercise the utmost restraint and refrain from violence.
The EU reiterates its firm support for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders.
The EU recalls its aim to strengthen EU-Georgia relations, in particular through the Eastern Partnership initiative, in order to improve stability and prosperity in Georgia.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and Azerbaijan and align themselves with this declaration.
* Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.