MOSCOW, August 8. /TASS/. The consistent normalization of Russian-Georgian relations is an important factor of stability and security in the South Caucasus, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday in a commentary on the 12th anniversary of the August 2008 events in the region.
"The consistent normalization of Russian-Georgian relations is an important element of ensuring full stability and security in the South Caucasus. Russia has always valued friendly ties with the Georgian people whom we lived with in a single country, which had different names, for more than one century. We are certain that overcoming the existing disagreements as soon as possible, restoring and developing bilateral ties meets the long-term interests of our countries and peoples," the ministry stressed.
The only forum
The Russian Foreign Ministry recalled the tragic events of 12 years ago. "Overnight into August 8, 2008, the government of Mikhail Saakashvili launched the so-called operation to restore constitutional order in South Ossetia, which in practice turned into a massive shelling of Tskhinval and the storming of a camp of Russian peacekeepers who were part of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces," the ministry noted. "Georgia’s actions were a flagrant violation of international agreements on the peaceful settlement of the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict that resulted in numerous casualties, including among Russian military servicemen and Russian citizens, and destruction, and, ultimately, preconditioned Russia’s response operation to enforce peace and Russia’s subsequent decision to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia."
The long-term negotiation mechanisms to resolve the Georgian-Abkhaz and Georgian-South Ossetian conflicts, which ceased to exist, were replaced by the Geneva International Discussions on Security and Stability in the South Caucasus, it pointed out.
"The significance of the Geneva Discussions is obvious. It is the only international forum providing direct dialogue between Georgia and Abkhazia, Georgia and South Ossetia. The very existence of that platform has made it possible to maintain the peace negotiation process for the past twelve years without any armed standoff while maintaining relative stability on the borders of these three countries," the Foreign Ministry said.
The main lesson
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the main lesson of the tragic events of 2008 is another reminder that the use of force to resolve international disputes is pointless and counterproductive.
"Especially when it comes to such a complex and sensitive issue as interethnic relations. Any violence here leads to the most painful and sometimes irreparable consequences. Russia’s efforts all these years have been aimed at restoring dialogue and full-fledged negotiation process between Georgia on the one hand and Abkhazia and South Ossetia on the other, in particular, by signing an agreement on the non-use of force between them," the ministry stressed.