H.Res.660, Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives to support the territorial integrity of Georgia

H.Res. 660

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives to support the territorial integrity of Georgia

Sponsor
Rep. Ted Poe

Date
September 8, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Thursday, September 8, 2016, the House will consider H.Res.660, Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives to support the territorial integrity of Georgia, under suspension of the rules. The resolution was introduced on March 23, 2016 by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) and was referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, which ordered the resolution to be reported on July 14, 2016, by voice vote.

Bill Summary

H.Res. 660 is resolved that the House of Representatives:

  • supports the U.S. Stimson Doctrine to not recognize territorial changes effected by force, and affirms that this policy should continue to guide U.S. foreign policy;
  • condemns Russia’s military intervention and occupation of Georgia and its continuous illegal activities along the occupation line in the Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia;
  • calls upon Russia to withdraw its recognition of Georgia’s territories of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia as independent countries; refrain from acts and policies that undermine Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; and take steps to fulfill the August 12, 2008 Ceasefire Agreement between Georgia and the Russia Federation;
  • urges the United States to declare that it will not recognize Russian de jure or de facto sovereignty over any part of Georgia, including Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia; deepen cooperation with Georgia, including Georgia’s advancement towards Euro-Atlantic integration; and enhance Georgia’s security through joint military training and the provision of self-defense capabilities; and
  • affirms that a free, united, democratic, and sovereign Georgia is in the long-term U.S. interest.

Background

The Stinson Doctrine has been a policy of the United States government since 1932 of non-recognition of international territorial changes executed by force.[1]

The Republic of Georgia declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. An internal war between government forces and separatists in South Ossetia broke out, leaving parts of that region under the control of the separatists. A joint peacekeeping force of Georgian, Russian, and Ossetian troops was stationed in the territory. A separate conflict in the region of Abkhazia ended in Abkhaz forces seizing control, with the assistance of foreign fighters, and declaring independence in 1992.[2]

Since his rise to power in 2000, Vladimir Putin has pursued an aggressive policy toward Georgia that is aimed at reestablishing Russian control, including direct intervention in the regions. In 2008, conflict between government and Russian-backed South Ossetian forces broke out.  Russia accused Georgia of aggression against South Ossetia and launched a large-scale invasion of Georgia on August 8, 2008.  A ceasefire was negotiated and agreed upon on August 12th,, including the withdrawal of Russian forces.[3]

On August 26th, Russia recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent countries and Georgia severed diplomatic ties with Russia.  Since the war, the Russian military has continued to increase its presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia in violation of the ceasefire agreement in 2008..[4]

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[1] See http://definitions.uslegal.com/s/stimson-doctrine%20/
[2] See http://www.loc.gov/law/help/legal-aspects-of-war/russia-legal-aspects-of-war.pdf at 2-3.
[3] Id.
[4] See Andrew North (14 July 2015). “Georgia accuses Russia of violating international law over South Ossetia”The Guardian.

Cost

A Congressional Budget Office cost estimate is not available at this time.

Additional Information

For questions about amendments or further information on the bill, contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.