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EU: no punishment and no approval for Georgia2009-10-27 23:38
The first session of Georgia-EU Association Council was held after publication of Tagliavini's report. After Mikheil Saakashvili's attack on Tskhinval was recognized as a violation of international law the attitude to the aggressor country should have been changed. However officially Europe hasn't condemned Georgia.
The Europeans looked through Heidi Tagliavini's report on the causes of last year's war and weren't even slightly confused about supporting the stirrer-up of last year's bloodshed for the whole year. The EU-Georgia Association Council session went on normally.
How about the report then? How about night shelling of a peaceful town? Well, the European Union took note of the statement by the independent international commission, Carl Bildt, the Foreign Minister of Sweden, the EU's current chair stated on October 26. He believes Georgia and Russia tried to read it piecewise leaving out unpleasantries.
It's known that the experts consider the Russian Army's protection of peacekeepers and Ossetians legal and the attack of Georgian artillery - a violation of the international law. But further advance of the Russian troops outside South Ossetia is unjustified, Tagliavini's commission ruled.
This is the conclusion Bildt draws of all that: "The involvement of the European Union must be higher in the region. That means all-round relations with the countries in the region as well as conflict settlement issues".
So nothing changes in EU-Georgia relations. The EU favors the country's territorial integrity which was remarked with satisfaction by the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in follow-up to the visit to Luxembourg.
Georgia seems to have become outrageously brave with the EU's fatherly attention that the issue of European monitors' access to Abkhazia and South Ossetia and reinforcement of their mission was raised again with a remark on "Russia's obligation to comply with the ceasefire agreement".
This is a reference to the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan that grew out-of date following Russia's recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and signature of military cooperation treaties with them. "Russia's non-constructive actions at Geneva talks" were brought up too.
Democratic development in Georgia and reforms pursued by Saakashvili were also discussed in Luxembourg. The EU gave encouragement to the Georgian government that the opposition calls authoritarian. Remarkably, the Europeans paid compliments for freedom of mass media that the independent TV channels and newspapers in Georgia don't quite feel.
On the whole Brussels decided to deepen cooperation with Tbilisi by signing a new EU-Georgia Association Agreement under the Eastern Partnership program.
But as the experts note there is no unanimity in Europe to what extent poor puppet-like Georgia should be approximated. This is also true for other post-Soviet republics that used to be sustained by the Soviet Union and now US and EU taxpayers are in charge of them.
The "old Europe" is against a "ballast" like this. They would like to call things by their proper names. It is notable that German experts in Tagliavini commission came forward with criticism of Saakashvili's actions and supported Russia's position. They were accused of having sold themselves to Gazprom for that in the Georgian media. The reaction from the German Embassy was a special statement demanding apologies.