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Truth will out even if Tagliavini’s report is classified2009-09-17 14:21
Russian Newsweek magazine with reference to some "informed sources" has published sensational news. The report by the ad-hoc European commission that has taken it 9 months and EUR 1.6 mln to investigate into the reasons of last year's military conflict in Caucasus in order to decide who started the war in South Ossetia - Georgia or Russia - might be classified. Only then will the EU Cabinet learn the truth about the war initiator last August.
The report by the EU commission chaired by Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini is expected to be submitted to the EU Cabinet late in September though it was scheduled for public release in July. According to the official version the two-month delay is due to the new evidence Georgia and Russia smothered the commission with late in July proving their rightness, and European experts simply had no time to process all that. In reality the EU commission is just deferring "the moment of truth".
It's easy to guess why. If the commission nicknamed the "mission of truth" in Europe condemns the Kremlin for starting the war in South Ossetia, the Russia-EU relations that are quite tense now will not grow significantly worse. Most probably there will be no sanctions, and the Kremlin has long been used to being criticized. If the EU judges Tbilisi guilty this will hit both Georgia's image in the West and President Mikheil Saakashvili's authority at home.
Head of Gorbi center for sociological research Merab Pachulia is sure: if Georgia is considered the war starter the situation might get explosive. "Even moderate opposition will have to go out into the streets", - he believes. In his opinion this will result in presidential and parliamentary elections before spring. However, Merab Pachulia assumes such a scenario will hardly be acceptable for the West.
Maybe these considerations account best for the intrigue over Heidi Tagliavini commission's report. The commission members are bound by the contract stipulating no contacts with the journalists. Besides, the Russian Newsweek reports, no expert will learn what conclusions the final draft will contain: each expert is responsible for only a part of the report. It's up to Tagliavini to decide the final content. Today both sides expect the final verdict from this Swiss diplomat.