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Brussels taking up the knot2009-09-03 22:38
The international community responded to the Georgian-Abkhaz escalation at the sea. It should be noted that the response came when President of Abkhazia Sergey Bagapsh gave an order to bring down fire on the Georgian ships trespassing the sea border of the republic, while Tbilisi, in its turn, promised to appeal to the West for help. Will Brussels now be able to smooth down the sea confrontation between Georgia and Abkhazia?
It was the European Union observer mission in Georgia that decided to act as an international peacemaker. The official statement diffused by the mission the day before expressed concern in respect of the statements made by the Georgian authorities, Russian armed forces and Abkhaz authorities that naval attacks and ships detention is possible in the Black Sea, Interfax reports. The observers called upon all the interested parties to withhold any statements or actions that might cause the escalation of tension and general aggravation. At the same time, the statement says that the Georgian, Abkhazian and Russian parties should discuss the question about the situation at the sea during the next meeting in the Galsky region in the context of the incident
prevention and respond mechanism.
Abkhazia has already responded to the EU mission's statement. According to Deputy Head of Information Administration of the President Alkhas Cholokua, Sergey Bagapsh's order is purely a countermeasure in return to the actions taken by the Georgian party in the Black Sea. "The Georgian ships often detain vessels that carry humanitarian cargos to Abkhazia, - Baltinfo is citing. - We have more than once warned the Georgian party against possible consequences of such piracy". Cholokua also underlined that the Abkhaz party takes all the statements made by the Georgian politicians in respect of "provocative acts" and "bluff" rather dispassionately, for a provocative act is the detention of ships going to Abkhazia. "The entire responsibility for the further trend of events will be laid on Georgia", - he summed up.
It is interesting that the West has taken the floor for the first time in two weeks since the detention of the Turkish tanker Buket, although Sergey Bagapsh made an attempt to draw the world community's attention to the problem immediately after the incident. In his letter to Chairman of the UN Security Council John Sawers, the European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana and President of France Nikolas Sarkozy the Abkhaz leader asked the three "high and mighties" to respond to the Georgian actions in the Black Sea waters and provide an adequate evaluation. President of Abkhazia then underlined that the sea incident speaks of "Georgia's further promotion of its policy aimed at destabilizing the situation in the region", - IA Apsnypress reported. In the opinion of the Abkhaz leader, Georgia's provocative acts and the silence kept by the international community, primarily, by the European Union, which has more than once defined its task as normalization of the situation and contribution to the stability in the region, make Abkhazia doubt as to the efficiency of these structures' performance.
No answer was given then. Later on, Head of MFA of the young republic Sergey Shamba reported that all the ships were detained by the Georgian border guards in neutral waters in violation of the international navigation law; he also supposed that the West would pay attention to the Georgian tyranny in the waters of the Black Sea only when Tbilisi gets into a similar situation.