US Helsinki Commission urges Moscow to cancel excercises
Responding to Russia’s planned “Caucasus 12” military exercises, Rep. Chris Smith, Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, urged the Russian Government to cancel the exercises. The Russian Government has publicly announced plans for large-scale military exercises, to be held not only in Russia but also in Abkhazia and South Ossetia – regions which are internationally recognized as Georgian territory but which the Russian government has illegally occupied and militarized since its August 2008 invasion of Georgia. The dates of the exercises are September 17-23, little more than one week before parliamentary elections in Georgia.
“To hold large-scale military exercises on occupied Georgian territory is a crude intimidation stunt,” said Chairman Smith. “The Russian Government should cancel these exercises – which are contrary to the principles of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other states enshrined in the OSCE’s Helsinki Accords. In any case, the fact that the Russian Government can even contemplate holding such exercises shows that the U.S. should strengthen its engagement and support of Georgia’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.”
Russian helicopters have violated Georgian airspace - several helicopters flew over the Georgian controlled territory from the occupied Tskhinvali Region yesterday and from the occupied Abkhazia today.
President of Georgia paid tribute to the memory of Georgian national hero, Zhiuli Shartava on his 70th anniversary. Giorgi Margvelashvili announced at the memorial today that by commemorating Zhiuli Shartava, he was also paying tribute to all, who fell in the tragedy of Abkhazia.
Today the first National Hero of independent Georgia – Zhiuli Shartava would become 70 years old. Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili together with Defence Minister Irakli Alasania, other members of Georgian Government and MPs paid a tribute to the memory of Zhiuli Shartava at Saburtalo Pantheon.
Two tourists were killed, two others are missing and only one of the crew survived in an avalanche in Ushguli. The survived tourist contacted the rescue service for help in Ushguli. Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has already confirmed the report about the death of tourists.
Interpol is considering the request of the Ukraine`s government to issue an arrest warrant for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych. The international organization has received an official letter from the Ukraine`s government and will publish the order warrant on its website soon.