Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), introduced a resolution calling on the U.S. government to continue a policy of not recognizing territorial changes effected by force alone as outlined in the Stimson Doctrine. In particular, the resolution condemns Russia’s armed intervention into the Republic of Georgia as a violation of Georgia’s territorial integrity and urges the Russian Federation to withdraw its recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent nations. (Please find attached a copy of the resolution, HERE
“Russia’s armed intervention into Georgia and subsequent unilateral recognition of the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia is in clear violation of OSCE commitments and undermines Georgia’s sovereignty,” said Chairman Hastings. “I urge Russia to respect Georgia’s territorial integrity and reconsider this most regrettable action.”
“I call on President Bush to publically declare that the United States will unequivocally not recognize any territorial changes effected by force alone and I hope my colleagues will join me in support of the Stimson Doctrine, through the passage of this resolution.”
The Stimson Doctrine, named after Former Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson (Hoover Administration, 1929-1933), was pronounced in a note on January 7, 1932 to Japan and China after the militarist government of Japan seized the territory of Manchuria from a weak and divided China. In response, Secretary Stimson declared that the United States would not recognize territorial changes effected by force. The United States reasserted this policy again in 1940 when Joseph Stalin seized control of the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The Stimson Doctrine has been honored by every Administration of the United States until independence was restored to these nations in 1991.
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, is a U.S. Government agency that monitors progress in the implementation of the provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords. The Commission consists of nine members from the United States Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.