The Deputy Secretary called in Russian Charge d’Affaires Darchiyev today to press Moscow to cease military operations in Georgia. The Deputy Secretary said that we deplore today’s Russian attacks by strategic bombers and missiles, which are threatening civilian lives throughout Georgia. These attacks mark a dangerous and disproportionate escalation of tension.
The U.S. calls for an end to these bombings, an immediate ceasefire, withdrawal of Russian ground combat forces from Georgia, and return to the status quo of August 6.
We underscore the international community’s support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, as articulated in numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions, including most recently UNSCR 1808 in April 2008.
Statement by Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. Permanent Representative, on the situation in Georgia, in the Security Council, August 8, 2008
Mr. President, the United States is deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation and the resort to violence in the south Ossetia region of Georgia that has taken place over the past several days.
The underlying problems in the South Ossetia region have a long history and need to be addressed through appropriate diplomatic and political channels.
However, the situation has seen an even more dangerous downturn with the introduction of additional Russian forces into South Ossetia and by Russian air and missile attacks against Georgia.
This raises serious concerns about the commitment of Russia to respect Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as questions about ultimate Russian intentions and objectives.
We are profoundly troubled by these developments, and we regret the resulting loss of life and numerous casualties among innocent civilians.
Mr. President, we call on Russia to cease attacks on Georgia by aircraft and missiles, respect Georgia’s territorial integrity, and withdraw its ground combat forces from Georgian soil.
The violence that has taken place must stop in order to avert further escalation and loss of life in Georgia and escalation of a conflict that affects not only Georgia but the wider region. What has been happening in the past days in Georgia clearly poses a threat to international peace and security that affects us all around this table.
For these reasons, the United States calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities by all parties to avert further risk of escalation and to stop the suffering for the people of the region. This cessation should lead to a restoration of the status quo ante by all concerned.
My government is working actively with others to secure a ceasefire. We also support international mediation to calm the situation. We seek Russia’s support for these efforts.
We call on the parties to show the utmost restraint and to refrain from actions that would further inflame the situation.
We also call on all parties to facilitate access for humanitarian assistance.
Mr. President, let me close by reiterating a fundamental tenet of this Council’s engagement on issues that affect Georgia: support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release August 8, 2008