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Russia and Georgia: incompatibility in PACE2009-09-29 17:03
Today's agenda of the autumn session of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe includes a report titled "A war between Georgia and Russia: a year later". The discussion and resolution on the document will become a prelude to the upcoming scandal around the last year resolution on dispossessing the Russians of their voting rights in PACE recovered by the Georgians. The Assembly failed to become the place of reconciliation between the hostile countries. It will be tomorrow's publication of the report prepared by the Commission for Investigation of the August events in South Ossetia that is going to clarify the question of the Russian-Georgian relationship.
The European parliamentarians that have come to Strasbourg will assess the situation in the Caucasus on the basis of today's report delivered by a Belgian Luk Van den Brande and a Hungarian Matias Yorsh. The summary of the report is already available on the PACE website. A year after the war, which, according to Brande, was made between Georgia and Russia but not with the former autonomies, «insignificant progress was achieved in eliminating its consequences, while in some aspects the situation even got worse". According to the reporter, Tbilisi has fulfilled almost all of PACE's demands, while Moscow has done practically nothing. He pays attention to the obvious unwillingness of both parties of the conflict to investigate the information on violation
of the human rights in the course of and after the military actions. Thus, PACE Commission encourages the International Criminal Court to investigate the possible crimes against humanity stated by the parties.
Brande and Yorsh take into consideration Russia's arguments that it refused to fulfill the demands of the Assembly due to a different vision of the status of the two separated republics. However, the spokesmen believe that most recommendations were not related to the issue and they cannot understand why Russia was unable to fulfill them. They estimate Moscow's behavior as the absence of political desire to properly behave as a member of the Council of Europe.
The report ends with an earnest request addressed to the Russian authorities to provide the EU observers with access to South Ossetia and Abkhazia by the end of the year, to let the Georgians pass freely through the "administrative" (from the viewpoint of Tbilisi) boundaries of former autonomies, to give the displaced persons an opportunity to come back and, finally, to investigate the fact of ethnic cleansings in the conflict zone.
Brande and Yorsh are not going to introduce any sensations; still, this report is definitely going to set the tone of another discussion scheduled for October 1. It will be the day of considering the draft resolution on dispossessing the Russian delegation of the voting rights in PACE because of its non-fulfillment of the previous recommendations given by the organization.
Tbilisi is already anticipating the Russian delegates being again rebuked from the PACE rostrum. "It is very important that the agenda of the PACE meeting includes passing a document with which the Council of Europe confirms its support of Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty and calls upon Russia to withdraw the recognition of breakaway regions and fulfill the international obligations undertaken; what is more, the prepared draft resolution will specify the definite terms in this direction for Russia to follow: up to January 1", - stated the spokesman of the Georgian parliamentary majority Giorgi Gabashvili on the eve of the autumn session. He believes the Russian delegation to resist the adoption of the resolution as it is in any possible way.