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“Deoccupation” reaches PACE2010-07-01 18:23
Let me tell you an unpleasant piece of news. An Inspector-General is coming. Not from Saint Petersburg - from PACE. The President of the Parliamentary Assembly has arrived in Moscow to discuss Russian-Georgian relations and Russia's commitments to the Council of Europe. Mevlut Chavushoglu plans to meet with the Federation Council and State Duma leaders as well as Russian FM and members of the Russian delegation to PACE to consider honoring of PACE's resolutions on Georgia that deal with deoccupation of Georgian provinces and revocation of their independence recognition. Besides, PACE president will raise the issue on reforms in Russia and pay a visit to one of the regions.
So the key word - "deoccupation" - spat out in Washington has reached Europe. Feels like a big affair is here to start. A new report on Russian-Georgian relations will be presented to PACE in October. To make it more loaded, formal presence of PACE's leader is needed - so here he is. PACE has been failing to directly accuse Russia of aggression against Georgia over two years. A PACE rapporteur working on the subject remarked this is "a very complicated, delicate, conflict-laden and highly emotional" adding that "it is difficult to provide general assessment of the situation ... for which both sides are responsible".
Please, more details from this part. Let's get back to the past. PACE has never liked Russia but Georgia's aggression and violence are so evident that PACE continues to fail to find arguments in support of their position. Heidi Tagliavini, former Head of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia was rather explicit stating "I would recommend that attempts to shift responsibility on one of the sides be refrained from", - she said at the time of discussion on the "consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia".
Tagliavini remarked that "the conflict has ancient roots" adding that these reasons... are difficult to be grasped since all sides to the conflict were making wrong steps that have to be remedied". On September 30 2009 in Brussels Tagliavini passed the report with conclusions over to representatives of Russia, Georgia, EU, OSCE and UN.
The report features Tbilisi as the war initiator with the authors concluding that initially Russia's military response to Georgian aggression was "legitimate" since Russia pursued defensive actions, however further retaliation by Russian troops, as the author of the report puts it, "went beyond reasonable limits".
At the time of discussion, Petre Tsiskarishvili, head of Georgia's delegation to PACE said "Russia continues to occupy part of the Georgian territory setting up military bases". He called PACE's attention to the fact that Moscow had failed to comply with the commitments "that were officially signed by the Russian president as well as PACE-adopted resolutions". Tsiskarishvili added that "the so-called states have created so-called embassies".
Konstantin Kosachev in charge of the Russian delegation who was given floor immediately after the Georgian delegation head said that he "categorically disagrees with some assertions of his Georgian counterpart" thanking PACE co-rapporteurs for the document "On consequences of the war between Russia and Georgia" in follow-up to August 2008. According to the Russian parliamentarian the conflict developped by its own scenario while PACE analyzes it as isolated. He called the Assembly's attention to the fact that not a single person has died since August 2008 in the conflict zone.