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Senate Passes Kerry-Smith Resolution on Georgia

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Senate Passes Kerry-Smith Resolution on Georgia

Sens. John Kerry and Gordon Smith today announced Saturday's passage of their resolution in response to the crisis in Georgia. The resolution called on Russia to immediately comply with the September 8, 2008 follow-on agreement to the six-point ceasefire negotiated on August 12, 2008. It strongly backs humanitarian, economic, and democratic assistance for Georgia, and continues to support the NATO declaration at last April's Bucharest Summit in favor of a Membership Action Plan for Georgia and the Ukraine.

"Russia's aggression in Georgia violated international law and seriously diminished its standing in the world," said Sen. Kerry. "The real test for American diplomacy in the months ahead will be how to best assist in the rebuilding of Georgia's democracy."

"Russia's hostile invasion of its tiny democratic neighbor, Georgia, has sparked an international outrage," said Sen. Smith. "We must help Georgia recover from this onslaught, and help this democratic country move forward to a brighter, more secure future."

Below is the full text of the Kerry-Smith Senate resolution:

Title: Expressing the sense of the Senate concerning the conflict between Russia and Georgia.


That it is the sense of the Senate that—

(1) irrespective of the origins of the recent conflict in Georgia, the disproportionate military response by the Russian Federation on the sovereign, internationally recognized territory of Georgia, including the South Ossetian Autonomous Region (referred to in this resolution as "South Ossetia") and the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia (referred to in this resolution as "Abkhazia"), is in violation of international law and commitments of the Russian Federation;

(2) the actions undertaken by the Government of the Russian Federation in Georgia have diminished its standing in the international community and should lead to a review of existing, developing, and proposed multilateral and bilateral arrangements;

(3) the United States recognizes significant interests in common with the Russian Federation, including combating the proliferation of nuclear weapons and fighting terrorism, and these interests can, over time, serve as the basis for improved long-term relations;

(4) the Government of the Russian Federation should immediately comply with the September 8, 2008, follow-on agreement to the 6-point cease-fire agreement negotiated on August 12, 2008;

(5) the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of Georgia should—

(A) refrain from the future use of force to resolve the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia; and

(B) work with the United States, Europe, and other concerned countries and through the United Nations Security Council, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and other international fora to identify a political settlement that addresses the short-term and long-term status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, in accordance with prior United Nations Security Council resolutions;

(6) the United States should—

(A) provide humanitarian and economic assistance to Georgia;

(B) seek to improve commercial relations with Georgia; and

(C) working in tandem with the international community, continue to support the development of a strong, vibrant, multiparty democracy in Georgia;

(7) the President should consult with Congress on future security cooperation and assistance to Georgia, as appropriate;

(8) the United States continues to support the North Atlantic Treaty Organization declaration reached at the Bucharest Summit on April 3, 2008; and

(9) the United States should work with the European Union, Georgia, and its neighbors to ensure the free flow of energy to Europe and the operation of key communication and trade routes.

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