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Monitors or provokers?2009-02-13 15:11
On February 10 the Honorable President of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Goran Lennmarker arrived in Tbilisi. At the meetings with Georgian officials he discussed the winding up of the monitor mission in the republic.
Lennmarker visited Karaleti village in Gori district where the OSCE mission in Georgia is deployed. He shared his impressions with Georgia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Nalbandov: "In my opinion the situation in the region is grave and tense".
The OSCE representative emphasized necessity of the international presence in the region expressing hope that the OSCE mandate in Georgia would be extended. According to Lennmarker this should be done for the world community to have true information on what is going on there.
Indeed what is it on the Georgian-South Ossetian border? Throughout all period of the OSCE mission's presence the monitors displayed outstanding inertness investigating facts of shooting on the border. They were inert in execution of their duties on the whole: monitoring and control of the ceasefire agreement implementation, assistance to creation of favorable conditions for the return of internally displaced persons and refugees, support for a political settlement of the conflict.
So if Lennmarker is to be trusted the monitor function will be limited "provision of true information" to the world as before?
Apparently Lennmarker quickly realized that he was not completely right. The same day, at the meeting with the Chairman of Georgia's Parliament David Bakradze he added: "The presence of international monitors will guarantee security of refugees. They have full right to return home and international monitors will provide for their safety". Indeed this sounds much more solid - as an argument in favor of the OSCE mission in the region.
Official Tbilisi has its own "arguments" accusing Tskhinval of kidnapping the organization's observers.
On Monday, February 9, the head of information and analytics department of Georgia's Interior Ministry Shota Utiashvili stated in his interview with Kommersant: "Approximately at 10.30 am the members of an Ossetian gang kidnapped two OSCE observers performing their duties near Adzvi village of Gori district (Georgia)".
Georgian media tried to accentuate that it was not the first case of kidnapping of the international experts.
Resolute conclusions were made by Georgia's Interior Ministry Grigol Vashadze in his habitual manner: "The incident shows lack of legality in the territory occupied by Russia".