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EU observers will keep their status quo in Georgia2008-12-10 11:05
There will be no surprises in the EU mission activity in Georgia in the nearest future. "The EU monitoring mission will not be transformed into a full-scale police or a peacekeeping mission"- the EU Foreign Policy and Security Envoy Xavier Solana stated today.
International controllers have a complex task to fulfill - watch over peace on Georgia's borders with South Ossetia and Abkhazia. And as is known, it's always unquiet there. It was so before August and it still is thereafter.
Do the observers cope with their responsibilities? Each republic has its own answer to this question.
Abkhazia and South Ossetia consider these guests intruders and don't allow them into their territories. Each of the presidents - Sergey Bagapsh and Edward Kokoyty - gives the following reasoning of their position. Both have repeatedly stated that the EU mission mandate is valid in the territory of Georgia. In no way does the activity of this mission concern Abkhazia and South Ossetia. That is why the EU observers are not admitted there.
Moreover, a month ago the Foreign Ministry of South Ossetia suggested revising the mission mandate in Georgia: "On account of frequented provocations against Ossetian citizens on the part of Tbilisi".
President Kokoyty was quick to express his critical judgment: "In particular the observers offer no response to the increase of the Georgian power structures in the border areas between Georgia in Ossetia. Now not only special service officers are redeployed there but the military equipment too," - he emphasized.
Tbilisi is not happy either saying that it wouldn't be bad to display fidelity to principle and not follow Sukhum and Tskhinval. Tbilisi believes that if the mission were represented in the "breakaway republics" the European community would confirm its commitment to Georgia's territorial integrity. That is why today State minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration Georgy Baramidze repeatedly called for the European Union to force the presence of the EU observers in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
However Xavier Solana objected stating that the EU missionaries "are working quite well on the ground". And such problems if they arise can be solved at the negotiating table.