Joint statement on so-called “presidential elections” in Abkhazia
Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States of America do not recognize the legitimacy of the so-called “presidential elections” held in Georgia’s Abkhazia region on March 22, 2020.
We reiterate our full support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders, and remain deeply concerned over the continued occupation of the territory of Georgia.
We once again urge Russia to fulfill all of its obligations under the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 ceasefire agreement, including the withdrawal of its forces to their positions prior to the outbreak of hostilities and the provision of free access for humanitarian assistance to these regions. We also call on Russia to reverse its recognition of the so-called independence of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
We give our full support to negotiations in the framework of the Geneva International Discussions.
This statement is delivered on behalf of Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes the return of Ukrainian citizens who were illegally captured and detained by Russia. Among the released prisoners is Oleh Sencov, winner of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2018, Edem Bekirov, a Crimean Tatar activist and other political prisoners, as well as 24 sailors captured during the aggressive actions of Russia in the Strait of Kerch in 2018. We share the joy of the families of those released and wish them a prompt recovery.
Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States of America do not recognize the legitimacy of the so-called ‘presidential elections’ held in Georgia’s Abkhazia region by the de facto authorities in Sokhumi on August 25, 2019, and will not acknowledge their outcome. Similarly, we do not recognize the legitimacy or outcome of the so-called ‘parliamentary elections’ held in Georgia’s South Ossetia/Tskhinvali region on June 9, 2019.
The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on 17 April, received a response to its note of 12 April over safety and security of the staff of the Lithuanian diplomatic representation and their family members in Moscow from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
On 4 April, at NATO Foreign Ministers meeting in Washington, Minister Linas Linkevičius called for response to the actions of Russia in the Black Sea region and in the area of arms control that are weakening European security.
On 3 April in Washington, the USA, on the margins of the NATO's 70th anniversary events, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius met with Vice Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Ivana Klympush-Cincadze and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia David Zalkaliani.