Inhofe Condemns Russia's Occupation of Georgian Territory

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of Senate Armed Services Committee, delivered the following statement on Sunday in Tiblisi, Georgia after meeting with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, where they spoke about the territorial security needs of the country. 

"We want to issue a clear condemnation of Russia's continued occupation of Georgian territory and recent efforts to move the line of occupation deeper into Georgian territory, all of which constitute threats to Georgian sovereignty.

"In the five years since the August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, Russian actions, whether by military invasion or economic embargo have continued to threaten Georgian statehood and the free choice of the Georgian people to seek integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions like NATO.  We strongly support Georgia's NATO aspirations, and we are grateful for Georgia's contributions to the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

"We call upon Russia to cease immediately its aggressive actions against Georgia -- a country that has successfully had two democratically-elected governments -- and actively engage in the Geneva International Discussions."    

Early the same day, the congressional delegation met with Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili and had a separate meeting with the leaders of the United National Movement, Georgia's opposition party.  Inhofe is currently leading a congressional delegation with the following members in attendance: Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Reps. Ander Crenshaw (FL-4), Steve Pearce (NM-02) and Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-1).