Abkhazia, an occupied territory of Georgia, recently signed a so-called treaty with Russia that reportedly calls for the development of a joint Russian-Abkhazian military force and gives Russia a role in Abkhazia’s foreign affairs. Russian troops have been in Abkhazia since the early 1990s, against the stated wishes of all Georgian governments since that time.
The United States does not recognize the legitimacy of any so-called “treaty” between Georgia’s Abkhazia region and Russia. The United States’ position on Abkhazia and South Ossetia remains clear: these regions are integral parts of Georgia, and the U.S. continues to support Georgia’s independence, its sovereignty, and its territorial integrity.
The so-called accord reportedly calls for Russia to pay for modernizing Abkhazia’s military and for Abkhazia to integrate its trade laws with the Eurasian Economic Union, the trade bloc Russia has formed with Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Armenia.
The United States continues to urge Russia to fulfill all its obligations under the 2008 ceasefire agreement, to withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions, to reverse its recognition of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, and to provide free access for humanitarian assistance to these regions.
The United States renews its full support for the Geneva International Discussions on the Conflict in Georgia as a means to enhance security, stability, and respect for human rights in Georgia. The surest way to increase trust between the parties and to improve the lives of people on the ground would be to grant access across the administrative boundary lines for all people, humanitarian organizations, and the European Union Monitoring Mission.
The U.S. calls on all parties to work constructively towards that end.