News / Europe

Clinton Chides Russia on Georgian Breakaway Republics

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a Coast Guard ship commissioning ceremony at the passenger terminal wharf in Batumi June 5, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a Coast Guard ship commissioning ceremony at the passenger terminal wharf in Batumi June 5, 2012.
BATUMI, Georgia - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the Obama administration is continuing to push Russia to withdraw its troops from the breakaway Georgian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Clinton met with Georgian leaders in Black Sea port of Batumi, to discuss defense, democracy, and investment.

Secretary Clinton says the United States remains steadfast in its support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"We reject Russia's occupation and militarization of Georgian territory and we call on Russia to fulfill its obligations under the 2008 cease-fire agreement, including withdrawal of its forces to pre-conflict positions and allowing free access for humanitarian assistance."

Russian troops remain in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, neither of which are recognized as autonomous republics by most of the international community.

Clinton says the United States and Georgia are deepening their defense cooperation to strengthen both Georgian security and its operations in Afghanistan, where it is the largest non-NATO member of the international force.

Following talks with Prime Minister Nika Gilauri, Secretary Clinton said the key to Georgia's future is consolidating democratic gains that will bring it closer to joining both the European Union and NATO. She says this year's parliament elections and next year's presidential poll are opportunities to strengthen the legitimacy of democratic institutions in the eyes of Georgian voters and the world.

"We urge Georgia's leaders to ensure that it will be a competitive campaign and that elections are free and fair both on election day and in the months running up to it. The recent creation of an inter-agency task force to handle election-related grievances is a good step," she said.

Term limits prevent President Mikheil Saakashvili from running for re-election, but there is speculation that he may seek to become prime minister.

Secretary Clinton says Georgians made history with their Rose Revolution against fraudulent elections in 2003. But the more difficult, and she calls ultimately more important work, may well be ahead - building the habits and practices that sustain democracy over time.

"That means not only holding successful elections, but going beyond elections and strengthening the other key pillars of democracy such as labor rights, judicial independence, media independence and access," she said.

She say the impact of these reforms go well beyond politics to boosting economic growth.

"As Georgia continues to strengthen accountability, transparency and the rule of law you will see even greater interest and investment in your economy," she said.

Clinton's time in the South Caucuses also includes stops in Armenia and Azerbaijan, where she has expressed concern about violence across the zone that has divided the countries since the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh war in 1994.

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid