Will PACE Trigger Backflash?19.04.2010 | 22:00
Moscow is expecting new claims from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. According to the First Deputy of the Chairman of the State Duma for Foreign Affairs Leonid Slutsky, at its spring session that will take place in April the PACE may demand again that Russia should renounce its recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Meanwhile, the rapporteurs of the Assembly for the Russian and Georgian dossier Matiash Yorsh and David Wilshire have already visited Georgia and are going to visit Moscow. A GeorgiaTimes correspondent spoke to some political scientists on the likeliness of the PACE forcing Russia to change its decision on recognizing Abkhazia and Ossetia's right to
sovereignty, a GeorgiaTimes correspondent spoke to some political experts.
According to Leonid Slutsky, the Russian part is getting ready to giving maximally complete answers to the rapporteurs' questions in order to avoid «destructive approaches». As regards the issue of recognizing the Transcaucasian republics, the diplomat promised that during its meetings with PACE representatives the Russian part will emphasize the absolute unacceptability of this claim of the Assembly once again.
For the period that has passed since August'2008 the Assembly insisted on Moscow calling back its decision to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The thing is that after the five-day war the international law faced the reality of the 21st century. Some think that the recognition of the independence of Kosovo initiated the inevitable disintegration of other states, which requires the reconsideration of many international legal acts. Others do not consider the situation in the Balkans as a precedent and make reference to the hardly persisting basics of international law.
In the case of Georgia international organizations are guided by the principle of territorial integrity of this country. In the PACE experts' reports on the observation of the resolutions «On the Consequences of the War between Georgia and Russia» it was already stressed that Russia had not observed most of the requirements. In the opinion of the West, Moscow is obliged to observe all the points of the Cease-Fire Agreement of 12 August 2008 signed by the Presidents of Russia and France Dmitry Medvedev and Nicolas Sarkozy, as well as to ensure the access of international observers to Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
At the same time Russia, that after the August events recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, makes reference to Independence Agreements. Moreover, the position of the Russian part relies on the fact that Russia has fully observed all the points of the Plan of Medvedev-Sarkozy.
A GeorgiaTimes correspondent spoke to political experts on whether during the spring session the PACE will demand again that Russia should change its decision on recognizing Abkhazia and Ossetia's right to sovereignty.
Vladimir Anokhin, Vice President of the Academy of Geopolitical Issues
According to the PACE, such requirements as the demand to call back the decision to recognize the independence of certain countries are really needed. The Assembly always suggests solutions unacceptable for Russia. The fact is that the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia is a weighted decision of the Russian government based on the entire history of the relationships between these countries and Georgia. Tbilisi has done too much harm to these republics to recognize them as part of Georgia. For Georgia these two republics are rogue countries. All the politics of Tbilisi that was directed against these two states cannot be called otherwise than genocide.
Therefore, on the basis of the historical necessity and the relationships between Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia that were artificially annexed to Georgia during the previous period Moscow made a conclusion that it was absolutely unacceptable and decided to protect them. To cancel this decision means to humiliate Russia and to threaten the security of peoples seeking the protection of Russia.
In my opinion, the PACE is a provocative organization sowing discord and conflicts on the whole territory of Europe. I do not respect it in principle. It is not created to unite people and countries.
Valery Khomyakov, General Director of the Council for National Strategy
It is clear that such prospects are possible. The Russian part has chosen a strategy implying the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Though these requirements will have no effect, they will continue to be discussed for quite a long time. Yes, the PACE remains where it was, but Russia also upholds its position, considering that Georgia committed genocide of the South Ossetian people.
Actually the Assembly has a lot of other important issues to solve. This is, first of all, the area of negotiations, and there is surely no lack of subjects for negotiations. And most of these subjects have more priority both for Europe and for Russia than the Georgian problem.