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Alas, nothing new with PACE2009-01-30 12:57
On January 28 the meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the situation in South Caucasus was held in Strasburg resulting in a new resolution on Russian-Georgian relations.
The new resolution draft was adopted by an overwhelming majority of votes (118 to 25). According to Regnum IA PACE again criticizes Russia's recognition of Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's independence like in the October document and calls on Russia to cancel this decision and "fully respect sovereignty and territorial of Georgia as well as inviolability of its borders".
Commenting on this in Vzglyad newspaper Konstantin Kosachev, the Chairman of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, pointed out:
"In case Russia withdraws recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia there will be a new outbreak of hostilities. As the Georgian leaders have no other option of restoring Georgia's territorial integrity than conducting another military operation". Besides, he emphasized, the Assembly's demands cannot be complied with due to their "wrong definition" and all problems of Russia-PACE dialogue are connected with the organization's wrong conclusions on the August events.
The new resolution adopted at the Assembly meeting also contains the address to Georgia - a much smoother one. In particular this is a demand for adherence to the ceasefire agreement (as set forth in the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan) and allocation of all troops within the positions they occupied before the start of the conflict. Apparently the assembly members acknowledged validity of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's recent statements that Georgia was increasing presence of its army contingent on the border with South Ossetia.
And as a logical continuation Georgia is proposed to restrain from any actions that provoke or heighten tensions along administrative borders with South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
The address to the two republics is noticeably sterner: "simultaneously the Assembly calls on South Ossetia and Abkhazia to immediately stop provocations and assaults".
It will be remarked that only one vote was missing for inclusion of a clause on possible revocation of the right to decide at the next session for the Russian and Georgian delegations. According to Interfax it was the initiative of deputies from Sweden, Georgia, Estonia, Ukraine and Lithuania.
Their idea was this: "The Assembly should consider temporary suspension of right to vote for the delegations at the April session in case one of the parties does not comply with the terms of the new resolution".