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The European Union yielded to the “Russian temptation”2008-11-17 10:12
"The UN could not resist the temptation - the famous Georgian politioiglist Archil Gegeshidze stated. - It preferred the perspective of a long-term cooperation with Russia to the protection of Georgia's interests. It means that this organization has refused to advocate the principles of international law to the end".
It was for the first time that united Europe received reproof from Tbilisi. The reason to this was the EU summit in Nice on November 14. Before that the Georgian administration had been persistent that the EU would defend Georgia to the bitter end. A day before the summit Saakashvili arrived in Paris. He tried to persuade Sarkozy to postpone the negotiations on economic cooperation between Russia and the EU. After that he made a public statement that France was to support Georgia.
He was echoed by Lithuania, the eternal ally: the republic's Foreign Office secretary Zhigimantas Pavilenis said that "until Russia withdraws its troops from Georgia' breakaway territories the EU will not move their hand to ratify the strategic partnership treaty".
These hopes were not justified. The EU not only decided on resumption of the dialogue with Russia. On November 17 Abkhazia and South Ossetia were officially invited to the "Caucasian negotiations" in Geneva. Before that the EU were willing to receive representatives of the republics only as part of the Russian delegation.
It is no more than a handsome gesture. Nobody expects any breakthrough from the coming meeting. Georgia's delegation has already announced its intention to demand complete pull-out of the Russian troops from its territory including Abkhazia and South Ossetia blaming Russia for the failure of the future negotiations in advance.
"If the Ossetian and Abkhazian parties take part in the Geneva meeting in an independent status the Georgian party will leave the negotiations. - Ramaz Sakvarelidze, a politologist, stated. - This protest will be legitimate and appropriate".
Essentially the EU abandoned Georgia completely. The initiator was the same Nicolas Sarkozy. He was also Russia's leading advocate. French President's family close friend Omar Harfouch spoke about the informal meeting between Sarkozy and Dmitry Medvedev before the summit. The quite dinner in a posh restaurant of old Nice was a very vivid reference to the Yalta conference in miniature.