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Borjomi fires beyond the scope of Geneva Convention2009-01-19 13:20
The European Commission will soon study evidence of Borjomi gorge ecocide at the time of the August events after Georgia presents all relevant materials as stated by Georgia's Minister of Environment Goga Khachidze on January 15.
At the meeting with Per Eklund, the European commission representative, Khachidze stated that some of these days this organization would get the materials including photos evidencing the fact of destruction of forests "as a result of Russian military intervention", GHN reports.
Eklund in his turn supposedly promised to provide evidence of ecocide at the coming EC session. He also emphasized: if the evidence is proved Russia will be seriously penalized.
It's a fact that in August Borjomi national park Kharagauli was severely damaged. The forests were on fire that led to decrease in population of Red-book species like Caucasian deer, roe, squirrel, brown bear and Caucasian asp. 23 days were needed to put out the fire. On September 16 the Georgian side started the fire cause investigation.
But already a month before that suspicion had fallen on Russia. Deputy Interior Minister Eka Zguladze reported at the meeting with the journalists on August 15 that there had been a Russian helicopter flying over the national park throwing fire bombs.
This charge was rejected by Russia's Defense Ministry official representative (who remained incognito). "It is clear to us that the Georgian authorities are willing to shift responsibility for all acts of nature in Georgia onto Russia. We have nothing to do with the fires in Borjomi though we are ready to offer assistance in fire extinguishing provided there is an official request from the Georgian side".
Georgia repulsed help and as time went by the passions calmed down. On December 18 it was reported that the Georgians had come to terms with the English on the national park joint restoration.
Nevertheless a month later Georgia attacked Russia again taking the Borjomi case to the EC level. Probably the help of the British was not enough. Eventually it was decided to hold the northern neighbor materially liable and knock out restoration money of it.
Why then wasn't Russia's assistance accepted immediately? It looks like pride was in the way. And another thing...
It is very doubtful that the EC will find Georgica's arguments sound. And if...
However a detailed account of the problem was given by Green Party leader Georgi Gachechiladze to GHN agency on January 15: