Medvedev-Sarkozy plan: best before…?30.09.2009 | 09:37
Russian Foreign Ministry again blames Georgia for violation of Medvedev-Sarkozy plan. Tbilisi's reaction was predictable for it is believed there that Russia was the first to refuse to comply with this agreement virtually striking it down. But since this document remains the only legal instrument between the conflicting parties, both countries keep referring to it. GeorgiaTimes has tried to find out how long the plan will be valid.
Violation of the so-called Medvedev-Sarkozy plan by the Georgian side was repeatedly brought up by Russian Deputy FM Grigory Karasin at the meeting with the head of the European Union Monitoring Mission to Georgia (EUMM) Hansjorg Haber who arrived in Russia to speak to the representatives of the Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Defense and FSS border service.
In follow-up to the visit Haber remarked there was no hazard of armed conflict resumption in Georgia, GHN reports.
He also complained about denied access to Abkhazia and South Ossetia for EU monitors. "This was the reason why I met with the representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry, the leaders of military authorities and border guards. At the meetings I reiterated the EU's unaltered stand on Georgia's territorial integrity which is Europe's consistent policy", - he calmed down the Georgian journalists.
According to him the EU mission assists Georgia in becoming attractive for Sukhumi and Tskhinvali. "With time this will contribute to renewal of dialogue between unrecognized republics and Tbilisi", - Haber noted.
At the meeting Russian Deputy FM Grigory Karasin was positive about the role of EU monitors in Georgia highlighting that Tbilisi was violating international agreements.
"For a long time a calm situation in near-border districts has been preserved due to joint efforts though the Georgian side pursues construction of fortifications and continues military movements in immediate proximity to the borders of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in violation of the armistice agreement between president Medvedev and president Sarkozy", - Karasin said.
It's not the first accusation of the Russian Foreign Ministry against Tbilisi which usually retaliated with claims. Today a discussion on the situation around Georgia was hot in the PACE. The authors of the report again call on Russia to give access to monitors and pull the troops out of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, i.e. comply with Medvedev-Sarkozy plan.
However upon recognition of independence of these two states Moscow doesn't think it necessary to pull out troops and provide access to international monitors if the Abkhazians and Ossetians are against it (because of the name of the missions underscoring their appurtenance to Georgia). On the contrary Moscow entered into a military cooperation agreement with Sukhum and Tskhinval and acts within this legal paradigm.
Does that mean the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan signed on August 12 2008 is completely out-of-date and inexecutable?
No - judging by the statement of the Russian Deputy FM at the meeting with Haber.
However as Irakli Menagarishvili, Director of Georgian Center for Strategic Studies remarked in his interview with GeorgiaTimes it is difficult to comment on the statements of Russian diplomats. The expert reminded that according to the agreement between two presidents it was decided to withdraw Georgian and Russian troops to the positions they had occupied before August 7 2008.
Officially each of the two ex-autonomies had a group of peacekeepers. Unofficially in Abkhazia for instance there were Russian rail troops", - the Georgian commentator reminded. Now, he emphasizes, several military bases are stationed there.
From the Russian point of view they are deployed under international agreements with Abkhazia and South Ossetia and from the Georgian point of view - in violation of international law since these republics were recognized by too few countries.
Nonetheless, Menagarishvili is not in a hurry to write the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan off.
He pointed out that the international community that once guaranteed Russia's execution of the agreement must urge its complete implementation.
"In reality the configuration of international structures gives little hope that any stringent requirements will be imposed on Russia", - the expert emphasized.
According to him the "invalid" plan can be replaced by a new document provided Russia revokes its recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia which will never happen though Menagarishvili hopes for a better future for his country.
Deputy Director of Russian Institute of CIS Countries, member of National Strategy Council Vladimir Zharikhin also told GeorgiaTimes that regardless of a new legal reality the Medvedev-Sarkozy is still effective.
"The agreements adopted last year remain in force with regard to mutual non-aggression. But the Georgian side violates them building up its military potential and as the Foreign Ministry remarked constructing fortifications", - the expert underlined.