Statement by Minister Nicholson on Georgia's Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity

March 20, 2015 – Ottawa, Ontario – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:

“Canada remains steadfast in its support for Georgia’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. Canada does not recognize the legitimacy or legality of Moscow’s ‘treaty’ signed on March 18, 2015, with the illegitimate authorities in South Ossetia or of the similar one signed with the illegitimate authorities in Abkhazia on November 24, 2014. These treaties clearly have no validity under international law and represent part of a pattern of persistent and predatory Russian infringement on Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“The treaties, combined with Russia’s ongoing military exercises in both territories, are further evidence of Moscow’s disturbing strategy to undermine its neighbours through illegal occupation and support for separatist movements. Canada renews its calls on Russia to withdraw its forces from Georgia, to allow humanitarian access to the region and to fully respect its Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe commitments. In particular, we call on the Russian Federation to uphold its August 12, 2008, ceasefire agreement and the September 8, 2008, implementing measures.

“Canada values its relationship with Georgia. We remain supportive of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations and the steps it is taking toward NATO accession, including through the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package endorsed at the 2014 NATO Summit in Wales.”

Contacts

Johanna Quinney
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
343-203-1851
johanna.quinney@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
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