HELSINKI, 26 August 2008 - The OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb, today condemned the decision by Russia to recognize the independence of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
"The recognition of independence for South Ossetia and Abkhazia violates fundamental OSCE principles. As all OSCE participating States, Russia is committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of others."
"Russia should follow OSCE principles by respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia. Russia should immediately withdraw all troops from Georgia and implement the ceasefire agreement, including the modalities defined in the 16 August letter of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The international community cannot accept unilaterally established buffer zones," said Stubb.
The OSCE will continue to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire agreement. It stands ready to further assist in stabilizing the situation.