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Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Regarding Georgia's Lawsuit Against Russia


Georgia has filed an interstate lawsuit with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg against the Russian Federation over the alleged cases of violations of a number of provisions of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in the course of the deportation of Georgian citizens from Russia last autumn.

Thus, the insinuations of "deliberate mass oppression" of Georgians in Russia have now been clothed in the form of a lawsuit.  The Russian side had previously clarified this question more than once, and in a well-argued fashion, refuted such accusations, particularly in public and at the highest level.

The aims of the propaganda ballyhoo that Tbilisi is whipping up around this, bluntly speaking, far from the currently most acute theme were very obvious from the outset - with the aid of anti-Russian "scares" to enlist support abroad for its hostile policy toward Russia as well as the irresponsible line in the Georgian-Abkhaz and Georgian-Ossetian conflicts.

To remove its concerns, the Georgian side could well have used other methods, including those presupposing cooperation with the Russian authorities.  But it has demonstratively chosen the very rare "state vs. state lawsuit" formula in ECHR practice with the aim of maximally politicizing and exacerbating the matter.

The Georgian leadership had the possibility to continue in a calm, nonconfrontational vein the joint work on rectifying bilateral relations that had begun.  It has to be stated with regret that Tbilisi has made a different choice.

The Georgian side ought to be clearly aware that this new unfriendly step taken by it against Russia is bad news for bilateral relations.

March 27, 2007