International reaction to the Russo-Georgian War

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The international reaction to the Russo-Georgian War covered many nations, non-governmental organisations and non-state actors. The conflict began in August 2008 over South Ossetia but spread elsewhere in Georgia. The war had a considerable humanitarian impact and affected the financial markets of Russia and Georgia.

In general, Georgia accused Russia of aggression and invasion through land, air, and sea, whereas Russia accused Georgia of genocide and crimes against humanity targeting Ossetians and Russian peacekeepers. Most other countries called for peace, with some demanding respect of Georgia's territorial integrity while others supported Russian intervention.

National statements[edit]

Country Response
 Armenia The Armenian Foreign Ministry said, "We are certainly concerned about the situation and hope that a solution will be found very quickly.[1]
 Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd called for an immediate ceasefire and respect for Georgia's territorial integrity.[2]
 Austria Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik urged Russia to respect the territorial integrity of Georgia.[3]
 Azerbaijan A spokesman for the Azeri Foreign Ministry, Khazar Ibrahim, said that Georgian actions were in accord with international law and that Azerbaijan recognises the territorial integrity of Georgia.[4]
 Bangladesh The caretaker government's Foreign Advisor Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said, "This outbreak of violence is a matter of deep concern for the international community including Bangladesh. We hope for an early cessation of hostilities."[5]
 Belarus Belarus was slow to respond to the conflict, but after a few days of silence issued multiple statements.[6][7]President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko stated, "Russia acted calmly, wisely and beautifully".[6][additional citation(s) needed]

Prime Minister Sergey Sidorsky said that his country had sent humanitarian aid and was ready to host several thousand children over the following two months.[7]

 Bosnia and Herzegovina The Government of Republika Srpska sent condolences to families of those who were killed during the war. Its statement condemned Georgia for taking unilateral military action and called Russia's reaction "legitimate".[8]
 Brazil The Brazilian Foreign Ministry stated, "Brazil deplores the use of violence and supports the peaceful solution of disputes. Brazil urges the parties involved to seek dialogue, for an immediate cease-fire and reconciliation in order to restore peace and security in the region, based on International Law."[9]
 Bulgaria The Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared in a statement that "the reports of victims among the civilian population in the region of the town of Tskhinvali cause particular anxiety."[10]

Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivaylo Kalfin stated, "Bulgaria supports a strong and active European position on the conflict in South Ossetia."[11]

 Canada Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, David Emerson, stated, "We call for an immediate halt to the hostilities and strongly urge all parties involved to display restraint in words and deeds, and to respect national boundaries."[12]

On 10 August David Emerson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated, "I am very concerned about the expansion of hostilities well beyond the region of South Ossetia. Rather than acting as a neutral peacekeeper, Russia has escalated the hostilities through its attacks on Georgian towns and cities outside the conflict zone. Canada calls on Russia to respect Georgia’s borders and to desist from any further encroachment on Georgia’s territorial integrity."[13]

On 27 August, International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda announced an additional $2 million in humanitarian aid.[14]

 Chile Foreign Minister Alejandro Foxley called for a cease-fire, "because, the worst from these situations, where territories are disputed, is the large amount of victims, who are absolutely innocent people."[15]
 People's Republic of China A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China Qin Gang said, "China calls upon relevant parties to keep restraint and cease fire immediately."[16]

China called for an "Olympic ceasefire", following the tradition of ceasing hostilities during the Ancient Olympic Games.[17]

 Croatia The Croatian United Nations ambassador appealed for an Olympic Truce.[18][verification needed]
 Cuba A statement from Cuban President Raul Castro stated, "When the USSR disintegrated, South Ossetia, annexed by force by Georgia, with which it shared neither nationality nor culture, retained its status as an autonomous republic with its local authorities and its capital, Tskhinvali." He further claimed, "It is a false claim that Georgia is defending its national sovereignty."[19][20]
 Czech Republic The Czech Foreign Ministry released a statement fully supporting Georgia's claims territorial integrity and indirectly blaming Russia for the crisis. However, Czech President Václav Klaus, in radio interviews stated that "I refuse to accept this widespread, simplified interpretation which paints the Georgians as the victims and the Russians as the villains" and rejected comparison with Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia saying that in 1968 Czechoslovakia did not attack Subcarpathian Ruthenia, and that in his view pro-reform Czechoslovak leader Alexander Dubček did not resemble President Saakashvili in word or deed.[21]
 Denmark Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen condemned Russian aggression: "We have to insist that the sovereignty of Georgia be respected. There are no military solutions. There is only one solution: diplomatic negotiation."[22]
 Estonia The Estonian parliament Riigikogu on 12 August condemned the military aggression of the Russian Federation against the Republic of Georgia, comparing Russian actions with Nazi Germany's attack on Czechoslovakia and Poland. The Riigikogu called on the international community „to assist Georgia in every way possible”.[23]

Estonian President Ilves said that the Russian attack on Georgia should be considered a persuasive argument for the conferral of NATO membership to Georgia and Ukraine.[24]

 France A statement from the French Foreign Ministry supported the territorial integrity of Georgia.[25]

"Don't ask us who's good and who's bad here," said the French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner. "We shouldn't make any moral judgments on this war. Stopping the war, that's what we're interested in."[26]

 Germany On 8 August Foreign Minister Steinmeier said that he "appalled by the escalation of violence" and demanded that "all combat has to be ceased immediately".[27]

German chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her concern about the humanitarian situation in Georgia and called for immediate ceasefire.[28]

Chancellor Angela Merkel said during her meeting with Medvedev, "to say that I found some of Russia's actions disproportionate and in particular think the presence of Russian troops in Georgia proper is not sensible. Russian troops should withdraw from central areas in Georgia." But according to her, some of the Russian actions were reasonable. "Both sides are probably to blame," she said.[29]

Deputy Foreign Minister Gernot Erler accused Georgia of violating international law by breaking a 1992 ceasefire agreement. He called it "a question of a violation of international law". Erler acknowledged provocation by South Ossetia's separatists, but said he understood Russia's reaction.[30]

Eckart von Klaeden, foreign policy spokesman for the Christian Democratic Union, said Russia was equally guilty for the escalation.[30]

Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder acknowledged that the conflict was triggered by Georgia's invasion of South Ossetia. When asked if he thought American military advisers stationed in Tbilisi encouraged the attack he responded, "I wouldn't go that far. But everyone knows that these US military advisors in Georgia exist – a deployment that I've never considered particularly intelligent. And it would have been strange if these experts had not had any information. Either they were extremely unprofessional or they were truly fooled, which is hard to imagine." He went on to say that "there have indeed been serious mistakes made by the West in its policy toward Russia."[31] He described Saakashvili as a "gambler",[32][33] and claimed that Russia was not pursuing annexation.[32]

The German military attache in Moscow described the Russian military response in Georgia as "appropriate" in an internal document. "The extent of the use of military force by the Russian side appears – seen from here and despite reports to the contrary from Georgia and the picture conveyed by the media – not inappropriately high," Brigadier General Heinz G Wagner wrote on August 11.[34]

 Greece Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis proposed four targets to be achieved: consistent observance of the ceasefire; a confirmed final ending of operations; return to the previous status; and the beginning of a substantive dialogue. She expressed support for Sarkozy's efforts through the EU, and talked of providing 100,000 euros to South Ossetian refugees.[35][36]

The Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) called for peace, the Communist Party of Greece blamed imperialism and the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) said that those who pushed Georgians into the conflict should be ashamed.[37]

On 14 August the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that a Greek diaspora member, Ivan Mihailidis, was killed in the capital of South Ossetia, while his three family members remain in the town, and that in Vladikavkaz there were 25 refugees that were members of the Greek diaspora or their families; the Greek government provided financial aid to the Greek diaspora families.[38][39]

 Hungary Hungarian opposition leader Viktor Orbán called the Russian intervention an "imperialist abuse of raw power" and drew parallels with the smashing of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.[40]
 Iceland The Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir expressed the concern for the safety of civilians and called for a peaceful solution to the conflict as soon as possible.[41]
 Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi called "for an immediate halt to the clashes" and said that "Iran is ready to offer any help ... under its principal policies of contributing to the establishment of peace and stability in the region."[42]

The Foreign Minister of Iran Manouchehr Mottaki said the crisis in South Ossetia could lead to the outbreak of a new cold war era between American and Russian coalitions. He warned that, "The extra-regional power [America] would suffer the same fate they have (in Afghanistan and Iraq) should it seek to destabilize the Caucasus."[43]

 Ireland Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin said, "Ireland fully supports Georgian sovereignty and territorial integrity. I welcome the Georgian offer of a ceasefire and call on all parties to immediately accept this. [...] Ireland stands ready to contribute to relief efforts there."[44]
 Israel The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated, "Israel recognizes the territorial integrity of Georgia and calls for a peaceful solution."[45]
 Italy On 8 August, the Italian Government stated, "Italy calls on all parties to bring an immediate end to the violence and reach a lasting cessation of hostilities."[46]

Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Franco Frattini said, "We cannot create an anti-Russia coalition in Europe, and on this point we are close to Putin's position." He stressed that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was a close ally of Putin.[47] About an eventual deployment of Italian troops, he later commented, "If, after his meetings in Tbilisi and Moscow, Kouchner submits a proposal to the European Council of Foreign Ministers on Wednesday, and it’s approved, we’ll take it into consideration. There are a lot of ‘ifs’, and we’d need in any case to redistribute our forces, which are finite, by redeploying them from other international missions. Humanitarian aid for South Ossetia, on the other hand, is ready as of now."[48]

 Japan The Japanese Foreign Ministry called on all parties to the conflict to cease hostilities and sit at the negotiating table, while reaffirming Japan's commitment to Georgia's territorial integrity.[49]
 Kazakhstan During a phone conversation with Putin on 8 August, the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, said "The Georgian leadership was not right when it failed to inform [other nations] about escalating tensions in South Ossetia" and called for a peaceful solution.[50][dead link]

On 28 August, a meeting was held in Dushanbe between Nursultan Nazarbayev and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Nazarbayev said that Kazakhstan was sympathetic to Russian efforts to establish peace in South Ossetia and that Kazakhstan was providing humanitarian aid to South Ossetians. Medvedev thanked the Kazakh president for provision of humanitarian aid.[51]

 Latvia On 14 August, Latvian parliament Saeima stated that Latvia "condemns Russia’s military attack on Georgia" and "Russia has violated Georgia’s national sovereignty". Saeima stated that "Russia’s peace-keeping mission in Georgia has failed; not only border conflicts have remained unresolved, but disproportionate hostilities have been provoked causing the death of civilians and significantly damaging Georgia’s civilian and military infrastructure" and called on the member states of NATO to find solutions "that would strengthen and guarantee the future security of all the neighbouring states of Russia."[52]
 Moldova Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin called on the European Union to help find a peaceful way out of the Transnistrian conflict.[53]
 Nicaragua Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega announced that Nicaragua would formally recognise "the sister republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as the newest members of the world's community of independent nations", and welcomed them.[54] Ortega claimed that NATO member states wanted to surround and disintegrate Russia and that they had "used the Georgian government in an operation typical of those launched by the Nazi army."[55]
 Netherlands Dutch Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende spoke with Vladimir Putin and Nicolas Sarkozy in Beijing. Balkenende stressed the importance of preventing the violence.[56][dead link][additional citation(s) needed]
 New Zealand New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark stated, "We call for an immediate ceasefire and a resumption of negotiations to end the conflict." She urged all parties "to continue to discuss and seek to resolve this matter through the good offices of the United Nations."[57]
 Norway Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister of Norway said that Norway recognises the sovereignty of Georgia over its own territory. "Our very clear position is that this conflict must be handled at the negotiation table, not the battle field," he said.[58]
 Poland Chairman of the Council of Ministers Donald Tusk made the initiative, by which the extraordinary European Council meeting in August 2008 was convened.[59]

The statement by the Polish president, Lech Kaczyński, said: "The president believes that any interference in internal matters of the republic of Georgia is unacceptable and that any such action, if it intensifies, could lead to tragic consequences."[60]

On 14 August 2008, Poland and the United States reached an agreement about establishing a battery of American missiles inside Poland.[61]

Foreign Ministry press spokesman Piotr Paszkowski said, "Poland is clearly in favor of respecting the territorial integrity of Georgia."[62]

 Romania Traian Băsescu, President of Romania said, "Romania reaffirms the need to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia".[63] He later promised that "Romania will join the efforts of the European Union and NATO efforts contributing its own expertise to promote a negotiated solution that would bring stability to the South Caucasus."[64]

The presidential administration announced that the Romanian authorities would be prepared to evacuate Romanian citizens from Georgia if the situation required so.[65]

"In Kosovo, so-called collective rights were put ahead of a country's integrity" said Basescu, continuing, "Now see what is happening in southern Caucasus." "The development is ... that territorial integrity is stepped over in the name of protecting minority rights," he said. "You cannot have that."[66][67]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledged that Romanian-made infantry weapons and ammunition delivered to Georgia were in compliance with international law.[68]

 Russia On 28 August, Putin accused U.S. President George W. Bush of orchestrating the war in Georgia in order to get the Republican Party's 2008 U.S. presidential candidate Senator John McCain into the White House.[69]
 Saudi Arabia According to Russian sources, Bandar bin Sultan told Putin that King Abdullah and the whole leadership of the country fully understood the actions of the Russian side in South Ossetia.[70][better source needed]
 Serbia Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić said that Kosovo "set a dangerous precedent for the solution of problems all over the world" and "the conflict in the Caucasus has shown the dangers of the militaristic approach to problem solving."[71]

Oliver Ivanović, Serbian State Secretary of the Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija, stated, "The question of Kosovo was didactic and inspirational for South Ossetia, so that they wanted to further strain the relations and define their position, which is understandable. Georgia has tried to solve the issue by using violence just as Serbia tried to do it in 1999." Countries that accept "the violation of the international law and disregard of the sovereignty of states, as it was done in the case of Kosovo, they can expect the possibility that such a recipe will be applied in all other situations".[72]

 Slovakia Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico claimed that Georgia provoked the military conflict. He rejected "such a black and white perception, according to which one side is good and the others are bad." He called for a ceasefire.[73][dead link][74][better source needed]
 Spain Miguel Ángel Moratinos, Minister for Foreign Affairs, stated that it is "regrettable" that the conflict in South Ossetia erupted "during the Olympic truce".[75] He called on the EU to send a message to both sides to start the "political and diplomatic dialogue".[76]
 Sweden Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt said, "It is extremely important that all those involved show restraint and play their part in bringing about a political solution."[77] Bildt further stated that the crisis was due to provocations from the South Ossetian side and that Georgian forces were trying to restore "the constitutional order".[78] "No state has the right to intervene militarily in the territory of another state simply because there are individuals there with a passport issued by that state or who are nationals of the state," he also said. "Attempts to apply such a doctrine have plunged Europe into war in the past... And we have reason to remember how Hitler used this very doctrine little more than half a century ago to undermine and attack substantial parts of central Europe".[79]

On 18 August, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt halted all exercises and military ties between Sweden and Russia, saying that "the Russian invasion of Georgia is unacceptable and a violation of international law. The Russian action has changed the image of Russia as an international player."[80][81]

Following the Russian recognition of South Ossetia, Bildt stated, "South Ossetian independence is a joke. We are talking about a smugglers' paradise of 60,000 people financed by the Russian security services. No one can seriously consider that as an independent state." He also dismissed Russian accusations that Mikheil Saakashvili was responsible for the conflict, saying he had merely "made a tactical blunder that turned into a strategic disaster".[82]

 Syria Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during his visit to Russia accused the United States of applying "double standards" toward Abkhazia and South Ossetia, stating that the West "is ignoring for some reason the rights of the people of Abkhazia and South Ossetia." Assad added: "In a situation when Georgia started the war, the position of Russia [...] was absolutely right."[83] He described the Russian intervention as a response "to provocation by the Georgian side".[84]
 Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the conflict is a grave concern for Turkey, which neighbours Georgia. Erdoğan called for "an immediate cease-fire and recourse to diplomacy".[85] Later on that day, Turkey agreed to a Georgian request to supply 30-40 MW of electricity.[86]

On 13 August, the President of Turkey Abdullah Gül had a phone conversation with Medvedev in which he highly praised Medvedev’s decisions, including those taken with the European Union, and expressed Turkey’s willingness to facilitate the implementation of the conflict resolution principles that all the parties had agreed to.[87]

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan went to Russia on 14 August to meet Putin.[88]

 Ukraine The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine called on all sides to cease fire immediately and to start solving the problem by negotiations. Ukraine confirmed its position of support of Georgian territorial integrity and sovereignty.[89][90] The Foreign Ministry called on Russia to remove its troops from Georgia and pressure the separatist regime of Tskhinvali to negotiations.[91]

Ukraine stated that it reserved the right to bar Russian warships dispatched to Georgia from returning to their base in the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol.[92]

On 12 August 2008, Ukraine air-shipped more than 30 tons of humanitarian aid to Georgia.[93][94]

President Yushchenko visited Tbilisi on 12 August and gave a speech. He spoke in support of Georgia in its aspiration to freedom and independence. He stated, "We came here to prove your sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence. These are our values. [...] You never be alone."[95]

On 13 August Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko stated, "We stand in solidarity with the democratically-elected leadership of Georgia. Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected".[96]

In contrast, Viktor Yanukovych, the leader of the Party of Regions stated that Ukraine should recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. He stated that the situation should be treated like Kosovo.[97][98] The Communist Party also registered a draft resolution to recognise the two republics.[99] After his election as President, Yanukovych said on 4 June 2010: "I have never recognized Abkhazia, South Ossetia or Kosovo's independence. This is a violation of international law."[100]

Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko said that he intended to increase the rent for the Russian naval base at Sevastopol in the Crimea.[101]

On 4 September Yushchenko threatened to dissolve parliament and call snap elections, blaming the crisis on supporters of Yulia Tymoshenko. Tymoshenko blamed the crisis on Yushchenko's "fight" for next year's presidential election. She also claimed her position on Georgia was in line with the EU position, and that she did not want to drag Ukraine into any conflicts.[102]

 United Kingdom The Foreign and Commonwealth Office stated: "The offer of a ceasefire by the Georgian government is very welcome. We now look to the Russian Government to accept this offer and agree to an immediate ceasefire, in line with its international commitments to respect Georgian territorial integrity."[103]

On 9 August, the British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband said, "Russia has extended the fighting today well beyond South Ossetia, attacking the Georgian port of Poti, and the town of Gori, while Abkhaz forces have been shelling Georgian positions in the Upper Kodori valley. I deplore this."[104]

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Edward Davey, said: "We need a ceasefire and urgent negotiations to stop the military action escalating." "There is also the risk of Abkhazia raising the stakes by cutting vital hydro-electricity supplies to Georgia," he added.[105]

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, after being informed of Human Rights Watch and BBC findings of possible Georgian war crimes, calling Georgia's actions "reckless", he added that "the Russian response was reckless and wrong".[106]

 United States U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried said "We have urged the Russians to urge their South Ossetian friends to pull back and show greater restraint. And we believe that the Russians ... are trying to do just that."[107]

White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said on 8 August, "All sides should bring an immediate end to the violence and engage in direct talks to resolve this matter peacefully."[108]

US president George W. Bush said to Russia, "Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century."[109] "Russia has invaded a sovereign neighbouring state and threatens a democratic government elected by its people," said Bush. "Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century."[110] President George W. Bush called the Russian bombings a dangerous escalation.[111]

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated, "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."[112]

Vice President Dick Cheney said on 10 August, "Russian aggression must not go unanswered, and that its continuation would have serious consequences for its relations with the United States, as well as the broader international community."[113]

The US Embassy in Georgia, describing a Matthew Bryza press conference on 12 August, called the war an "incursion by one of the world's strongest powers to destroy the democratically-elected government of a smaller neighbor".[114]

On 21 August the US Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle claimed that the initial Russian reaction to Georgia's attack was legitimate.[115]

The Pentagon declared on 25 August that Russia had not met its obligations to withdraw troops from Georgia under the French-brokered ceasefire agreement.[116]

In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on 4 August 2009, Assistant Secretary of State Philip H. Gordon referred to the events as "the Russian invasion."[117]

  Vatican City On 10 August Pope Benedict XVI expressed his hope that "military action will stop immediately and that they will abstain, in the name of their common Christian inheritance, from further clashes and violence." He called on the international community to find "a peaceful and lasting solution."[118]
 Venezuela On 14 August, the Venezuelan government stated that they followed with concern "the increase in unacceptable acts of violence perpetrated by the Georgian troops against the South Ossetian population" and that the conflict was "planned, set and ordered by the United States government". It stated that Russian forces acted according to international treaties, in order to preserve the lives of South Ossetians and Russians. It celebrated the steps done in favor of restoration of peace and warned European countries to "not allow external actors putting at risk the stability of European continent and world peace".[119]
 Vietnam On 28 August, Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Dung stated, "Our persistent policy is to promote settlement of international disputes through peaceful solutions in line with international laws and the United Nations' Charter."[120]

States with limited recognition and non-state entities[edit]

Entity Response
 Abkhazia On 5 August, Abkhazia's foreign minister, Sergey Shamba, announced that Abkhazia's army might open a second front against Georgia if it launched a full-scale attack against South Ossetia.[121]
 Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Usman Ferzauli, the Foreign Minister of the self-proclaimed Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, called for the international community to halt the Russian advance in Georgia, stating, "Based on this alarming situation, the leadership of the CRI calls on all peace-loving countries to show integrity and by curbing the aggressor, to prevent the escalation of military conflict."[122]
Don Cossacks Don Cossacks On 8 August reported that a "volunteer 429th independent motor rifle regiment" would be created to help South Ossetia. 450 people had already signed up in Khasavyurt.[123]

By 9 August, at least 100 Cossack volunteers had crossed the border from the North Caucasus to fight Georgia.[124]

 Kosovo President of Kosovo Fatmir Sejdiu said that Kosovo cannot serve as an example for Russia to recognise South Ossetia or Abkhazia. He said that "Kosovo has special characteristics. That it is sui generis and it cannot be used as a precedent for other conflict zones, areas or regions." He said that Kosovo was "on the side of great world powers".[125]
Kuban Cossacks The Kuban Cossacks, according to Khariton Yedziyev, expressed their readiness to help the defence of South Ossetia.[126]
 Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Several non-governmental organizations released a joint statement: "We consider the effort to solve any conflict by force absolutely unacceptable, and we call on the government of Georgia to immediately stop the fighting, which has already brought about numerous casualties among the peaceful population of South Ossetia."[127]
 North Ossetia-Alania North Ossetian president Taimuraz Mamsurov stated that "hundreds of volunteers are on their way to South Ossetia."[128]
Terek Cossacks On 8 August Khariton Yedziyev, the ataman of the Terek Cossacks, said that part of his regiment was already defending South Ossetia.[126]
 Transnistria On 8 August, the separatist republic's Foreign Ministry said that they view Georgian military action as "the act of aggression against a free democratic nation, the peaceful residents of South Ossetia. [...] It is very clear that the Georgian government doesn't understand any logic but the logic of bloodshed and violent solution of the conflict. [...] We don't rule out that the government of PMR won't prevent volunteers to travel to the South Ossetian Republic."[129]

Joint statements[edit]

Countries Response
On 10 August Ene Ergma, Gundars Daudze and Česlovas Juršėnas, the presidents of the parliaments of the Baltic statesEstonia, Latvia and Lithuania – issued a joint declaration: "We are calling on the international community to decisively condemn actions of Russia and to promptly take all necessary steps to stop the war and bring the parties to the negotiation table. Justification of Russia’s actions in Georgia by the need to protect its citizens is unacceptable. Alleged reasons for taking up a war against Georgia raise concerns about the future in every state with Russian citizens living on its territory. We are concerned and disappointed with the actions and behaviour of Russia, as an important actor in the politics of the region and the whole world, which will inevitably have effect on further bilateral and multilateral relations with this country. Russia's military aggression against another sovereign state and actions contradicting the statements of its leaders raise serious doubts about the reliability and consistency of Russia as a partner."[130]
Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Valdis Zatlers, Valdas Adamkus and Lech Kaczyński, respectively the Presidents of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, issued a joint declaration stating, "We strongly condemn the actions by the Russian military forces against the sovereign and independent country of Georgia. Following the unilateral military actions of the Russian military forces, we will use all means available to us as Presidents to ensure that aggression against a small country in Europe will not be passed over in silence or with meaningless statements equating the victims with the victimizers."[131]
Ilves, Adamkus, Kaczyński, Viktor Yushchenko, Ivars Godmanis, respectively the Presidents of Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine and Prime Minister of Latvia jointly visited Tbilisi in support of Georgia on 12 August 2008.[132]
All five states had previously been satellite states, occupied by and/or annexed by the Soviet Union.

International organisations[edit]

Organisation Response
Amnesty International In November 2008, Amnesty International released a 69-page report citing both Georgia and Russia for serious international law violations on the conduct of war.[133]
Caritas Internationalis Caritas denounced the violence and claimed to be providing food, household items and counselling to the people caught in the fighting. Caritas supported calls for an immediate ceasefire and the start of negotiations to bring a peaceful solution to the conflict. Secretary General Lesley-Anne Knight said, "Russia and Georgia must step back from all out war. Already the conflict has caused too much suffering to thousands of innocent civilians. It will take a huge regional effort to rebuild shattered communities." "Caritas appeals to both sides to do everything in their power to respect the lives of civilians. Caritas supports the need for humanitarian corridors into South Ossetia as a short term solution, but peace talks must take place now." "Both sides must respect the rights of ethnic minorities to avoid a further escalation in the conflict."

Caritas Georgia also claimed to be providing medical help to the large number of casualties. Programme Manager Liana Mkheidze said, "Many people are coming to Tbilisi from Georgian villages around Tskinvali and the also from Gori. Their houses have been damaged and they’re escaping the bombardment." "Caritas Georgia distributed 1920 small cans of tuna-fish and 420 cans of canned meat together with 500 loaves of freshly baked bread from its own bakery. We are preparing to distribute more bread and preparing food at our soup-kitchen if necessary to provide food to those made homeless." Director of Caritas Vladikavkaz (North Ossetia–Alania) Sergey Basiev said, "There are lots of refugees seeking shelter. They have nothing. The situation is dreadful. We will try to meet these urgent needs."[134]

Collective Security Treaty Organisation On 4 September, The CSTO member countries supported Russia's actions in a collective statement, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. According to him, the common statement issued after the meeting "denounces the military actions taken by Georgia against South Ossetia and stresses the necessity to avoid such situations in the future." "The statement highlights the key points, has all the necessary verifications, including condemnation of Georgia's military actions against South Ossetia. It stresses the need to do the best in order not to admit similar attempts at using force for solving conflicts and evaluates events in the conflict zone. It condemns the policy of double standards and admits the dangers in the conflict zone," the Foreign Minister added.[135]

The member states backed a Russian proposal to impose an arms embargo on Georgia.[136] Armenian Foreign Minister Edvard Nalbandyan said, "We have come out with support for Russia's active role in contributing to peace and cooperation in the region."[136] But the CSTO (ODKB) did not follow Russia's lead at this meeting and did not recognise South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.[137]

Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation Nikolai Bordyuzha claimed that "What is happening after the conflict … is certainly driving South Ossetia and Abkhazia into the collective security system," and further stated, "South Ossetia and Abkhazia can not successfully and steadily develop without [being part of] a collective security system, without the backing of other states."[138][139]

 European Union On 9 August, Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, who held the rotating presidency of the European Union, announced with American President George W. Bush that the EU and the USA would send a joint delegation to try to negotiate a cease fire.[140]

On 12 August, Sarkozy reportedly convinced Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin not to follow through with his plans to overthrow the Georgian government and "hang Saakashvili by the balls".[141]

Emblem of the ICRC.svg International Committee of the Red Cross On 8 August, ICRC said that it was seeking to open a humanitarian corridor to guarantee safe access to Tskhinvali.[143][144]

On 11 August, ICRC released a statement saying they were sending 15 tonnes of medicine and medical supplies to the conflict zone. They stated "the ICRC has officially reminded Georgia and Russia of their obligation under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and distinguish at all times between the civilian population and those taking a direct part in the hostilities. The four Geneva Conventions, their Additional Protocol I and the customary rules and principles of international humanitarian law are all applicable in this situation."[145]

 NATO NATO's official website posted the following statement from the NATO Secretary General: "The NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, is seriously concerned about the events that are taking place in the Georgian region of South Ossetia and said that the Alliance is closely following the situation. The Secretary General calls on all sides for an immediate end of the armed clashes and direct talks between the parties".[146]

On 11 August Russia called for an emergency meeting of the Russia-NATO Council to appeal for NATO’s assistance in ending the crisis, but the initiative was blocked by the United States.[147]

OSCE logo.svg Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe The Finnish foreign minister Alexander Stubb, acting as the chairman of the organisation, travelled with the EU delegation to negotiate a cease-fire. Stubb stated that OSCE was the only organisation with infrastructure in the area that could immediately deploy military observers to manage the conflict.[148] All 56 members supported the plan to send 100 military observers to monitor the ceasefire.[149]
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation The Hindu reported that Russia had support from the People's Republic of China and other member states in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.[150] A joint declaration was issued at the 28 August 2008 SCO Dushanbe summit and signed by the leaders of all six full members. The communique called upon the parties to resolve the conflict through dialogue. The heads welcomed the six-point plan which was reached in Moscow (12 August) and expressed support for Russia.[151][152][153][154] The SCO called for respect for every country's territorial integrity,[155] stating, "The participants [of the SCO summit] underscore the need for respect of the historical and cultural traditions of each country and each people, for efforts aimed at the preservation, under international law, of the unity of a state and its territorial integrity".[156] According to Kommersant, the SCO Group "refused to back Moscow in its conflict with Georgia, and to support Moscow’s recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia".[157]
 United Nations On 7 August, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon voiced grave concern over the escalation of violence and urged all parties "to refrain from any actions that might jeopardize the situation further and pose threat to stability in the region."[158]

On 8 August at MSK 7 am an emergency session of the UN Security Council was expected to be held at Russia's request.[107] The session was held, but failed to reach an agreement.[159]

Between 06:00 GMT on 8 August and 23:00 GMT on 9 August, Russia tabled three resolutions calling upon all sides to renounce the use of force. Each time its efforts were opposed by the United Kingdom and the United States, who sided with Georgia’s UN Ambassador Irakli Alasania.[147]

In September 2008, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, the president of the UN General Assembly, claimed that Georgia "committed an act of aggression against South Ossetia and violated UN Charter."[160]

Popular protests regarding Russo-Georgian War[edit]

Popular protests for peace were held throughout Europe and in the United States as the war unfolded.


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