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Difficult Choice of Heidi Tagliavini17.06.2009 | 16:19
The European Union Committee for the Investigation of the Transcaucasian Conflict Reasons is, in all appearances, preparing an unpleasant surprise to the Georgian President who has made a loud announcement of Georgia's «significant victory» in the UN, where Russia had to use its right of veto during the vote on the resolution regarding the extension of the UN mission in Abkhazia and Georgia. Moscow has fairly considered unacceptable the contents of this document that does not say anything on the new status of Abkhazia whose independence, as well as the sovereignty of Tskhinvali, was recognized by Russia after the crash of the Georgian venture in South Ossetia.
The Der Spiegel magazine published the correspondence of Uwe Klusman «Broken Dream» in which the author tells the readers about the opinion of the committee members and about some documents clearly proving that the aggressor in the "five-day war" in Transcaucasia was Georgia.
By the end of June this expert group working in Geneva and headed by the Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini must present its conclusions to the European Union leaders in Brussels. Heidi Tagliavini herself is writing the final report to the European Union leaders on the reasons of the South Ossetian war.
The Swiss citizen Heidi Tagliavini who knows the Russian language has gained the reputation of a specialist in especially delicate diplomatic tasks. A group of international experts was assigned to help her: military experts, political analysts, historians and international law specialists. The budget allocated for this project is EUR 1,6 mln. However, this time, says Klusman, Tagliavini has a really difficult task.
Uwe Klusman writes that many things depend on the conclusions of this committee, including an answer to the question if Georgia can be considered a serious candidate for membership in the NATO or the ex Soviet republic is in the hands of an adventurer. The article runs that during the investigation they collected some phrases of the Georgian President proving that he has taken interest in a military solution of the South Ossetian issue for long. Moreover, the senior officials of the Berlin foreign policy body know that the German ambassador Uwe Schram (currently Vice Chairman of the UN Committee for that investigation) had warned about Saakashvili's disposition to war in his reports.
It would be appropriate to cite the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's statement during his interview to the Chinese television: «Let me remind you that, in the opinion of the Russian Federation and in my personal opinion as the President of our country, everything that happened is a consequence of the irresponsible, criminal politics pursued by the Georgian leaders during that period. If it were not for those stupid actions, life could develop in another way. However, some very serious actions were done, very dangerous actions leading to human losses. As a result the Russian Federation had to defend its citizens, the citizens of South Ossetia and, actually, those of Abkhazia, too. After that we recognized these new states, recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as new international entities».
All the impartial experts share such evaluation of the Georgian leaders' actions. «Most committee members are led to believe it was the Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili to start the war with his attack against South Ossetia on 7 August, write «Der Spiegel».
The retired British colonel Christopher Langton participating in the investigation say that «the Georgian dream has been broken and the country can blame only itself for it». A Brussels political analyst Bruno Copiters believes that «the support of Saakashvili by the West, especially in the military area, automatically promoted Georgia's confrontation policy».
The real facts gathered during the investigation allow to definitely answer the main question on the responsibility for the unleashing of war in the Caucasus. The experts have not found any proof of the Georgian President's declarations running that in the evening of 7 August a Russian column of 150 tanks entered South Ossetia. According to them, the Russian army came only on 8 August. On the contrary, the committee members note that Saakashvili concentrated 12 000 soldiers and 75 tanks in the morning of 7 August. Direct evidence is Tbilisi's refusal to provide the committee with the Georgian order No. 2 of 7 August 2008 considered the key document, as well as the subsequent military guidelines.