Georgia rejoins extended Crimea sanctions

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The FINANCIAL — Georgia has rejoined extended EU sanctions first put in place in 2014 in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia. As part of the non-recognition policy of the illegal annexation of Crimea, the EU imposes the said restrictions on economic exchanges with the peninsula. Georgia, aligning with the EU decision, will ensure their national policies conform to this council decision.

In a statement of August 24, European Union’s High Representative Josep Borell has welcomed the alignment of Georgia with the decision of the Council of the EU regarding restrictive measures in response to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. Restrictions include, among others, a ban on imports of goods originating in Crimea unless they have Ukrainian certificates, the prohibition of investment as well as the ban on providing tourism and financing services in the Russian-annexed territory, local media reported.

The Council of Europe’s (CoE) decision made on June 18 extends the existing restrictive measures until June 23, 2021 and the economic sanctions are extended once a year. The official statement of CoE reads that Georgia, as well as five other countries (Montenegro, Albania, Iceland, Norway and Ukraine) aligning with the EU decision, will ensure their national policies conform to this council decision’. Sanctions were first introduced in June 2014 in response to Russia’s attempt to deliberately undermine Ukraine’s territorial integrity and destabilize the country, wrote

The Republic of Crimea, officially part of Ukraine, lies on a peninsula stretching out from the south of Ukraine between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. It is separated from Russia to the east by the narrow Kerch Strait. In early 2014 Crimea became the focus of the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War, after Ukraine’s pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych was driven from power by violent protests in Kiev. Kremlin-backed forces seized control of the Crimean peninsula, and the territory, which has a Russian-speaking majority, voted to join Russia in a referendum that Ukraine and the West deem illegal. Crimea was annexed by the Russian Empire during the reign of Catherine The Great in 1783 and remained part of Russia until 1954, when it was transferred to Ukraine under the then Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, according to BBC. 

U.S. Department of State released a statement on the 80th Anniversary of the Welles Declaration, where is written that it will never accept Russia’s attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and Georgia.  “The Welles Declaration is no mere historical artifact. Just as the United States never recognized the Baltic States’ forced incorporation into the Soviet Union, so it will never accept Russia’s attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and Georgia, through its purported annexation of Crimea, its support for destabilizing proxies in eastern Ukraine, or its occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” stated U.S. Department of State

Last month, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine released a statement reaffirming the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders. Ukraine demands that the Russian Federation immediately cease its destabilizing actions against the Georgian civilian population, provide unimpeded access to Georgia’s occupied territories for the international human rights and monitoring organizations. “Such provocative actions of the Russian occupation regime are the blatant violation of the Ceasefire agreement of August 12, 2008 and aimed at destabilizing the security situation in the region. By realizing the practices of detentions, abductions, torture and killings, Russia continues systematically and unprecedentedly to violate the norms of international humanitarian law,” is written in Ukraine’s statement.

A new report from the US State Department accuses Russia of conducting a sophisticated disinformation and propaganda campaign that uses a variety of approaches including Kremlin-aligned news sites to promote their agenda. Report focuses in particular on the Russian government’s use of this network to push disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic as it spread across the globe, CNN wrote.

In line with its congressional mandate, the GEC released a special report that provides an overview of Russia’s disinformation and propaganda ecosystem. The report outlines the five pillars of Russia’s disinformation and propaganda ecosystem and how these pillars work together to create a media multiplier effect. In particular, it details how the tactics of one pillar, proxy sources, interact with one another to elevate malicious content and create an illusion of credibility.  Read more

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