Russia invades Georgia- Baltic response

  • 2008-08-10
  • Monika Hanley in cooperation with the Baltic Ministries of Foreign Affairs

Map showing area of conflict in Georgia. Blue arrows depict Georgian movement, red arrows show Russian.

SOUTH OSSETIA- Following an invasion of Russian troops in Southern Ossetiain Georgia,a state of war has been declared by the Georgian Foreign Ministry.
The Baltics, havingworked closely with Georgiain international matters have much to say on the situation.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Petras Vaitiekunas is currently in Georgia assessingthe situation.

 "Having arrived in Georgia and observing the situation on the spot,I agree with the assessments of the situation by the international community,that  Russian military forces have crossed all red lines by crossing aninternationally-recognized border into the sovereign territory of Georgia,"said Vaitiekunas.

He also called for an immediate ceasefire in the region.  

"This is a clear act with visible elements of aggression and an outrageousviolation of international law with grave consequences to regional andEuro-Atlantic stability and security as well as to Euroatlantic relations with Russia,"stated the minister.

Latvia also took a formalstance in condemning the invasive action taken by Russia.

In response to the repeated appeals by the Georgian side to revert tonegotiations in order to reduce the tension and to resolve the conflict, I amcalling upon the Russian side to cease all military action, which could evenmore destabilize the situation in the region," said Foreign Minister MarisRiekstins.

The National Bank of Georgiawebsite was also hit by a series of attacks and hackers placed photos of Hitlerand other dictators on the homepage. Many other sites including the Ministry ofForeign Affairs website were hacked as well. Reports are likening the events tothe 2007 cyber attacks carried out on Estonian sites.  


It is estimated that hundreds of civilians and many peacekeepers are deadand many more wounded.

The area of South Ossetia with a one-fifth Georgian minority, broke awayfrom Georgia in the early90s, wanting to reunite with North Ossetia, now a part of Russia. The situationwas settled as 500 peacekeepers from Russiaand Georgiaensured a truce in the region.

However, many say that Russiasided with South Ossetian separatists wanting to reunite, resulting in smallclashes. Many South Ossetian citizens have Russian passports and reports from Moscow state that Russia will fight to protect thoseestimated 70+ percent that hold them.

Following a Georgian operation to retake the town of Tskhinvali,Russiamoved its troops across the border and fighting continued into the night ofAugust 9.

The international community has taken a united stance in calling for an endto the hostilities.

The three Baltic presidents signed a joint declaration stating "we will useall means available to us as Presidents to ensure that aggression against asmall country in Europe will not be passed over in silence or with meaninglessstatements equating the victims with the victimizers."