Lithuania's Foreign Ministry suggests imposing restrictive measures on individuals responsible for perpetrating human rights violations in the occupied territories of Sakartvelo
On 2 August, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania addressed the Migration Department, proposing to include in the list of undesirable persons individuals, who had contributed to violations of human rights in the occupied territories of Sakartvelo (Georgia).
The 10th anniversary of Russia's military aggression in Sakartvelo will be marked on 8 August 2018. The Russian Federation has occupied about 20% of Sakartvelo in violation of international law, recognized the "independence" of the occupied territories, deployed a large military force in them, and carried out the “creeping annexation”. In addition, Russia continues to cause tensions along the administrative lines directly and by making use of the local "authorities", as well as restricts and violates human rights.
Recently, the killings of Sakartvelo's citizens – Giga Otkhozoria and Archil Tatunashvili – in Russia-occupied territories have received the most international attention. Sakartvelo's officials are still hampered as they are carrying out the investigation and seeking to ensure that the perpetrators of the illegal killing of the citizens are brought to justice. The international community has considered that the actions by the occupying Russian regimes against G. Otkhozoria, A. Tatunashvili and other citizens of Sakartvelo that had deprived them of their lives, including their unlawful detention, the restriction of their right to defence, illegal imprisonment and impeding the investigation of their killings and other serious crimes, have violated the principles of international law, human rights and fundamental freedoms. These actions by the Russian Federation and the local "authorities" in the occupied territories cause tension and undermine security in the region.
On 21 March 2018, the Parliament of Georgia adopted the Resolution on Gross Violation of Human Rights by the Russian Federation in Occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region and “Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili Act”. On 26 June, the Sakartvelo‘s Government adopted a decision to impose national restrictive measures against those responsible for the violations. Taking into consideration the request of the Government of Saktarvelo, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania addressed the Migration Department on 2 August, proposing to impose national restrictive measures against these individuals.
Lithuania has most actively denounced the “creeping annexation” of Saktarvelo by the Russian Federation and all related violations of international law and human rights, and has called for their discontinuation. Lithuanian diplomats, including the Foreign Minister, have repeatedly raised these issues with the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe and other international organizations.
Lithuania continues to call on the Russian Federation to establish conditions for ensuring that the perpetrators are brought to justice and to stop all illegal actions in the territory of Sakartvelo.