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What makes PACE’s head ache2009-09-30 22:19
Recently the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly adopted the resolution "The War Between Georgia and Russia: one year after". As most Russian, Georgian and Western media report the EU parliamentarians were quite tough on Russia. Is it really so and what is the European community's role in settling the Georgian-Russian confrontation? The GeorgiaTimes correspondent was trying to find it out from Georgian and Russian experts.
The PACE meeting was preceded by stormy debates with Georgia insisting on revocation of Russia's voting right in this organization and Russia's door-banging threats and warnings to leave the EU assembly if the parliamentarians did Tbilisi's bidding.
The Europeans chose the lesser evil of the two. The PACE monitoring committee didn't favor the idea to divest the Russian delegation of the right to vote but the resolution adopted in follow-up to the discussion of Luc Van den Brande and Mattias Yorshi's report is rather hard on Russia. The details of the text are quoted by news agencies.
As Interfax reports, there is mention of serious concern over "the continuing tension and provocations along the administrative boundaries of South Ossetia and Abkhazia which can only but destabilise the region as a whole".
The PACE members deplore the continued refusal of Russia and the authorities of South Ossetia and Abkhazia to allow European Union monitors access to these regions as well as the closure of the United Nations Observation Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) as a result of the veto by Russia in the United Nations Security Council.
As Svoboda radio reports the monitors predict that the issue of revocation of the Russian delegation's authorities may emerge at the next PACE session.
The EU parliamentary deputies urge for the monitors' access to Abkhazia and South Ossetia till the end of the year. The Russian Foreign Ministry has already stated that the PACE resolution was in contradiction with the new reality in Caucasus.
The point is that in the aftermath of August 2008 the international law faced the realities of the 21st century. Some people believe that the recognition of Kosovo's independence laid the foundation of the inevitable collapse of other states which needs review of many international legal instruments. Others don't consider the Balkan situation a precedent appealing to the hardly valid principles of international law.
In Georgian case the international organizations are guided by the principle of the country's territorial integrity. Russia that recognized Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's independence after the August war appeals to the independence recognition treaties.
Can there be any compromise not only between Russia and Georgia but between Russia and European organizations of the EU level representing different legislative paradigms?
What's the opinion of Tbilisi that takes any opportunity to discredit Russia on the international arena? Georgian politologist Paata Zakareishvili in his interview with GeorgiaTimes correspondent remarked:
Russia asks to acknowledge new realities. But Russia doesn't want to admit that the European community also has the right to defend the principles of international law. In a situation like this nothing will change: the EU countries will never recognize Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's independence. Russia will periodically insist on legality of its position. The text of the resolution sounds balanced.