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Helsinki – diplomatic battle in progress2008-12-09 09:48
On December 4 Finland's capital was welcoming the annual meeting of OSCE Foreign Ministers. This year its focal point is the August war in the Caucasus. Russian diplomats led by Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov were preparing for a heavy battle. It was quick to flare up right before the meeting.
One by one different ministers reminded they respected Georgia's territorial integrity. No word of approval was said to Russia. Moscow's traditional critics were true to themselves detailing the OSCE's position and exact actions to be done to solve today's situation in Georgia. Even Georgia's Foreign Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili was surprised at such unanimity and expressed her deepest satisfaction.
What she heard was absolutely in line with the demands she had brought on the Russian troops pull-out from the territory of the country and international observers' access to the conflict areas.
"Troops of a neighboring state invaded our country, - she told "Radio Svoboda" reporter before the meeting. - The country's partially occupied. During the month prior to the military operation Russia implemented a well-planned program aimed at frustration of international conventions on Georgia's territorial integrity".
By the way the demands of Mrs. Tkeshelashvili in Helsinki found more sympathy with the Western diplomats that at the recent session of NATO Foreign Ministers' meeting in Brussels. It will be remembered that on December 2 the majority opposed provision of a NATO membership action plan to Georgia and Ukraine. The next day the USA's reaction to this fact was expressed in the article in "The Washington Post" entitled "Russia's malevolent triumph". It seems that here in Helsinki Europe and the USA decided to recoup themselves for the concessions made earlier.
It's not a secret that the head of Russia's Foreign Ministry Sergey Lavrov (who will make speech on December 5) has prepared arguments on the basis of Medvedev's initiative of signing a new pan European security pact. The former one was adopted in the capital of Finland 32 years ago. The events in the Caucasus demonstrated that it was out-of-date. Moscow suggests having another OSCE summit dedicated to the pact reformation.
"We are going to use the OSCE tribune to promote this idea of our president. The document's frame is already prepared so we believe the meeting will be devoted to discussion of the Russian proposal", - a high-ranking source of MID told "Kommersant" before the meeting.
OSCE high ranks knew that beforehand. That is why Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb reasonably said: