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People in the conflict zone are dissatisfied with the international observers2008-10-30 09:50
European Union observers detained by local law-enforcement agencies in Artsev village in South Ossetia on October 26 have been released. In compliance with the current agreement they are not entitled to cross the border within the conflict area without preliminary notification to the republic authorities.
The following day Murat Dzhioev, Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs of South Ossetia, stated that the EU were to define its observers' status. "They must not work on the territory of the republic. We ensure security here by ourselves, their task is to preclude aggravation of the situation on the part of Georgia", - the diplomat spoke out emotionally.
He noted that there had been no improvement in relationships between the South Ossetian party and EU observers since. "We don't have any kind of memorandum with them. We don't know what we're allowed to demand from them and what we are not. In any case we see that the tension is rising over South Ossetia and EU observers are practically passive about it", - Dzhioev said.
Later in the day in one of Georgia-South Ossetia border villages the representatives of the European Union observer mission held the first official negotiations with the authorities of South Ossetia represented by the Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Mikhail Mindzaev. These were "service negotiations" as one of the participants said, where the issue of observers' access to the territory of the republic was discussed.
It will be remembered that on Sunday after Georgians attacked by fire the post of the Russian militaries in Abkhazia, the Head of Abkhazia Ministry for Foreign Affairs Sergey Shamba was the next one to express his dissatisfaction with the EU observers' activities. He stated that "two hundred pistol-armed observers cannot and will not be able to do anything with the provocations the Georgian special services arrange towards South Ossetia and Abkhazia". "Withdrawal of Russian troops from Abkhazia has lead to a more destabilized situation in the area". He noted that when Russian peacemakers acted they did not allow warring parties to come closer, and now "this is not done".
Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe also arouse discontent. Sergey Mironov, the Federation Council Chairman, believes they are not coping with their responsibilities: "I think OSCE observers and peacemakers do nothing in the area and display negligence. This can lead to the aggravation of the situation in the region". Upper chamber speaker of the Russian Parliament expressed a hope that "the mandate issued to OSCE in the conflict zone will be really qualitative. Our peacemakers were efficient in maintaining the peace and stability", - he emphasized.