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Friday, 28 October 2016


Force majeure for Russia, for others – mobrdzandit!

2009-01-23 16:35

4/2/7/1427.jpegTbilisi held Russian inspectors off the country's military facilities explaining such a position by force-majeure with Russia declared on January 22 by Georgia's Foreign Ministry in connection with the presence of Russian troops in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

According to the Georgian foreign authority on January 19 and 21 the Russian Federation made an official request to conduct an inspection of Georgia's military facilities appealing to the OSCE Vienna Document 1999 of the Negotiations on Confidence and Security-Building Measures.


In this connection BBC reported that according to this document all the OSCE member states must regularly exchange detailed information on their armed forces. Any of these states is entitled to demand OSCE partners to allow inspection of military facilities but only once per calendar year. As the Vienna document reads the inspection can be refused only due to force majeure in the country.

"If the receiving State is prevented from accepting an inspection due to force majeure, it shall without delay, through diplomatic or other official channels, explain in detail the reasons and provide, if possible, an estimated duration of the circumstances giving rise to the claim of force majeure.", - clause 78.2 goes.

It would seem Georgia's Foreign Ministry followed the rules. However the reference to force-majeure, i.e. unexpected insuperable circumstance, is explained by the presence of Russian troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia that have been there ... for already five months! The claim of force-majeure was made three days after Russia's notification.

There is another curious fact here. It is specified in the statement disseminated by Georgia's Foreign Ministry that dealing with other participating states that signed the Vienna document Georgia is ready to conform to all the clauses. In a word force-majeure is only for Russia and to others - welcome! (or mobrdzandit in Georgian)

The decision to keep Russian inspectors away from the military facilities is serious and long-term according to the explanatory statement of Grigol Vashadze, the Foreign Minister: "Force majeure will be cancelled only after Russia deoccupies Georgia's territory including Abkhazia and Tskhinval area".

Almost all Georgian politicians and experts expressed their full support of the country's leaders considering force-majeure with Russia "a natural and timely act of diplomacy".

According to Interfax Russia's Foreign Ministry took the actions of official Tbilisi as another attempt to conceal the truth on deployment of Georgian military units: "The Georgian side repeatedly stated its military units were in their cantonment areas in compliance with the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan offering to check this. But when it came down to real actions it receded from its position".

By the way Western journalists remark that the Vienna document does not specify what exactly is understood as force-majeure.

Europe has offered no reaction to another outburst of Moscow-Tbilisi confrontation yet.

Meanwhile Russia has been still more persistent in drawing the Europeans' attention to Georgia restoring its military infrastructure for the money of foreign donors appropriated to rehabilitation of the war-affected economy. In this context the intention to inspect military bases in this country looks quite justified.

Irina Ptashkovskaya


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