July 29, 2011

(Washington, DC) – The U.S. Senate today unanimously approved a resolution introduced by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) affirming U.S. support for the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of the country of Georgia and calling upon Russia to remove its occupying forces from Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

“Today, the Senate spoke with one voice in support of Georgia’s territorial integrity,” said U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen.  “While I am pleased by the Senate’s action and the clear message we are sending to Georgia and the Russian Federation, the situation there remains fragile and unresolved, as Russian troops are still occupying Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions.  As we near the three-year anniversary of the war in the South Caucasus between Russia and Georgia, it is critical that we remain engaged in the region, strengthen U.S.-Georgia relations, and continue to seek long-term peace and stability.”

“Russia’s invasion of Georgian land in 2008 was an act of aggression not only to Georgia, but to all new democracies,” said U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham.  “I will continue to stand by Georgia to make sure this young democracy moves forward and becomes a shining example of what can happen after the fall of the Soviet Union.”

Shaheen and Graham have been leading the effort in the Senate to strengthen the U.S.-Georgia relationship.  The two currently co-chair a bipartisan task force on Georgia, sponsored by the Atlantic Council, which was launched on the second anniversary of the Russia-Georgia war and aims to encourage a bipartisan consensus on policy toward Georgia.

As Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs, Shaheen also convened a hearing on the situation in Georgia on the first anniversary of the Russia-Georgia war in August 2009.

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