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Mariamoba: why are shots heard on border?28.08.2009 | 22:20
The first week after the anniversary of Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's recognition was not quiet. Georgia will not put up with the loss of its territories, the expert community asserts. Moscow will not revoke its decision, as the world community is made to understand. So the confrontation on the level of foreign ministries is natural. The alarming thing is that the new wave of diplomatic confrontation is followed by aggravation of the near-border situation. But nobody needs a new armed conflict.
This week Abkhazia and South Ossetia celebrated a year since their recognition. Tbilisi's annoyance was explicit. Moscow showed optimism and support for the young republics that have enough problems without Tbilisi. There was no hope the anniversary would be scandal-free. However, the situation in these republics is a different issue.
In spite of international non-recognition and a tail of problems the first anniversary of the republics was celebrated.
However the Georgian issue, as Rossyiskaya Gazeta remarked, couldn't be omitted at the press conference of Vladimir Putin and South Ossetian President Edward Kokoyty. "Russia gives support to Georgia", - Vladimir Putin stated specifying immediately that as an IMF member our country regularly sets aside "huge sums to this structure". Then the money is distributed among "the distressed including Georgia". Putin added "we don't want to humiliate Georgia, our only interest is to create a stable situation in the region". Russia won't tolerate any revenge attempts, Putin warned. "The faster all the parties involved realize the realities the simpler it will be to build a common future", - he said.
Georgia is not going to accept the realities. That's why the Georgian foreign ministry made a special comment on the Russian PM's words. "We saw clearly what Russian "financial" or other "help" to Georgia was in August 2008. The result of this "help" from Russia was occupation of part of Georgia's sovereign territory, the ethnic cleansing and dozens of thousands of forcedly displaced people", - the Foreign Ministry's statement runs.
Tbilisi also underlined that the contributions made by IMF members are managed by the Board of Executive Directors under the decision of the majority, not an individual country. "In this context Russia's rejection to set aside additional financial resources to Georgia within Stand-by arrangements at the meeting of the IMF Board of Directors on August 6 2009 is especially noteworthy", - Rosbalt quotes the Georgian Foreign Ministry's comment. - In spite of that the IMF took a positive decision on Georgia".
Official Tbilisi also remarks that "speaking about share of inputs it's important to remark that Russia's and Georgia's contributions per capita are equal". Accordingly "Russia's claims to the allegedly special contribution to IMF are completely groundless".
Diplomatic battles have not finished here though. The Russian Foreign Ministry came down on the Georgian draft of the UN resolution on refugees with a pretentious name "Condition of internally displaced persons and refugees from Abkhazia (Georgia) and Tskhinvali district of South Ossetia (Georgia)". The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regards this document as confrontational, meant to politicize the purely humanitarian issue in order to shift responsibility for the events that took place in the region after Tbilisi's aggressive actions last August onto Russia.
"Now that the situation in South Ossetia is still unstable and it takes time to recover from the effects of last year's war, for the socio-economic situation in the Caucasian republics to improve and real grounds for the return of refugees to be created, the Georgian initiative is purely provocative", - the Russian foreign authority believes. - Adoption of this resolution would mean support for Saakashvili's regime that started the war and was a real aggressor and would lead to more instability in the region".
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasizes that "introduction of this resolution splits the UN members shading more sensitive issues like the status of Palestinian refugees, in particular". Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's "appurtenance to Georgia" was specifically emphasized by the ministry which is "unacceptable for these countries and Russia that recognized their independence". Besides, it was remarked in Smolenskaya square, "reference to Russia as "a conflicting party" arouses bewilderment while generally known facts of the Georgian aggression against civilians in South Ossetia that brought about a humanitarian catastrophe and Georgia's numerous violations of the international humanitarian law and international law on human rights are hushed down".
Such confrontation between two authorities given the lack of diplomatic relations between the countries is understood. Each party is trying to stand its ground. Another thing is disturbing: the near-border situation is getting tense again.
Today Georgian Interior Ministry reported on two policemen slightly injured as a result of shooting on the border outpost from the Abkhazian side. "The fire lasted for 10 minutes and involved machine-gun and RPG fire resulting in minor injuries of two Interior Ministry officers. A police owned pick-up was also damaged", - the Georgian Interior Ministry statement reads.