Friday, August 22, 2008

Restricted freedom of movement for diplomatic corps through Georgia

On 21 August 2008 the Embassy of the Russian Federation to Georgia sent a Note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. The Note, in particular, indicates: ‘in order to arrange civilized movement throughout Gori for the delegations and persons intending to arrive or already present in Georgia and planning to travel to Gori, the Embassy requests advance notification on any such travel plan, delegation members, travel objectives and duration, transport vehicles and itinerary. In the given situation the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation must obtain such information in order to give respective instructions to the peacekeeping command, which will further ensure unhindered movement’.

In the aftermath of ethnic cleansing and mass and flagrant violation of human rights perpetrated by the Russian army on the territory of Georgia, the Russian Federation undertook to restrict freedom of movement for the diplomatic corps throughout the territory of Georgia. It points clearly to the degree of Moscow’s compliance with the ceasefire agreement signed by the Russian President and provides another proof of continued occupation of Georgian territory by the Russian armed forces.

By undertaking such actions, the Russian Federation grossly violates provisions of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Article 26 of the Convention, in particular, stipulates that the receiving State shall ensure to all members of the diplomatic corps freedom of movement and travel throughout all of its territory.

Russia’s actions in Georgia contradict such universally recognized norms and principles of international common and codified law, which provide the basis and guarantee for establishing each state as a subject of international law within the international system.

It is a regrettable fact that the Russian Federation being a legal successor to the Soviet Union continues to base its actions on Soviet-imperialist traditions.