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OSCE likely to stay in South Caucasus2009-04-13 12:40
Moscow is seeking ways to extend OSCE mandate in South Ossetia according to the new geopolitical situation in the region as stated by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Andrey Nesterenko.
"The principles of OSCE field operations are stipulated in the Charter for European security adopted in 1999 at the summit in Istanbul, - Nesterenko is quoted by OSinform. - It is clearly stated there that the OSCE assistance shall be coordinated with the host country. The practice of field work of this organization shows that the status issue is not an obstacle in setting up of its missions. For instance, such missions operate both in Belgrade and Kosovo". According to Nesterenko, the OSCE is able to influence the "quality of democracy" in Georgia; and non-repetition of August events should be a special concern.
Thus the Russian side demonstrates strong interest in the mission's presence in the republic. Nesterenko also emphasizes that Moscow's position is based exclusively on commitments to international law "reflected in specific internal legal acts". "They are based on Russia's recognition of South Ossetia's independence", - Nesterenko underlined.
Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin is solidary with his college: "The Russian Federation stands for the work of the OSCE and other international organizations to be implemented in full compliance with new political and legal realities in the region, and ready for constructive talks on mandates for the OSCE's field presence in Georgia and South Ossetia", - RIA Novosti quotes. Karasin made this statement after the meeting with ambassadors from Great Britain, the USA, France, and Germany in Moscow. According to the Russian diplomat the possibility to reach a mutually acceptable decision on this issue is obvious and "depends on flexibility and impartiality of approaches". "A compromise is hampered by a non-constructive position of a number of states unready to realistically evaluate the current situation in the region and trying to substitute urgent problems of security reinforcement with political maneuvering," - Karasin believes.
It will be remembered that late in March the Russian side proposed its project of the OSCE mission mandate prolongation in South Caucasus. "We suggested organizing the OSCE monitoring activities on both sides of the border in order to ensure a more unbiased picture of the current situation in the region close to the Georgian-South Ossetian border; - Karasin was quoted by ITAR-TASS. - But on purely political motives Georgia which was actively supported by OSCE member states rejected our compromise proposal".