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Estonia refuses to recognise presidential election in Abkhazia

Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu
Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Estonia and 14 other countries have refused to recognise the legitimacy of "so-called presidential elections" in Abkhazia, which is in Georgian territory, but is a de facto and partly-recognized republic.

The election was held on Sunday, and the 15 countries have agreed they will not recognize the outcome. A joint statement reads:

"[We] do not recognize the legitimacy of the so-called 'presidential elections' held in Georgia's Abkhazia region by the de facto authorities in Sokhumi on August 25, 2019, and will not acknowledge their outcome. Similarly, we do not recognize the legitimacy or outcome of the so-called 'parliamentary elections' held in Georgia's South Ossetia/Tskhinvali region on June 9, 2019."

Since the Russo-Georgian War of 2008, Georgia has maintained that both South Ossetia and Abkhazia are under Russian occupation.

"We reiterate our full support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders," the joint statement continues.

"We once again urge Russia to fulfill all of its obligations under the 2008 ceasefire agreement, including the withdrawal of its forces to pre-conflict positions and the provision of free access for humanitarian assistance to these regions, as well to reverse its recognition of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states."

The 15 countries who made the joint statement are: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Canada, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Ukraine, the U.K, and the U.S.

After elections in South Ossetia in June, Estonia's foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) reiterated that Estonia supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders, and that Estonia sees both South Ossetia and Abkhazia as integral parts of Georgia.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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