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OSCE’s wishful thinking

17.08.2010  |  14:01

6681.jpegOSCE Chairman Kanat Saudabayev has made an interesting statement: the organization wishes to settle conflicts in the Caucasus despite the fact that the mission together with UN was more than once accused of excessive politicization of their work in this spot of the planet. Naturally, Nagorny Karabakh, Abkhazia, Georgia and South Ossetia are sweet spots for geopolitical castling, while confrontation between Russia and OSCE is gathering pace in many aspects. Will Georgia be able to suppress Russia's position through international institutions and impose its own vision of the South Caucasus' future?


Head of Russian Federation Foreign Administration Sergey Lavrov has always underlined that Russian side welcomes the mission's presence in the South Caucasus if it takes new political realities into account. To his mind, there are all the necessary conditions for the observers' work today; the only thing is that some countries' fidelity to principles creates additional obstacles for international organizations. It would be easy to suppose whom the foreign minister means: US have long been thinking themselves policemen of the world eager to "defend" the sleepy Europe that tends to see a bomb in each shot of a sling.

As for Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, it has many times abandoned conflict regions, suggesting that the interested parties should settle the existing problems themselves. And now we have come to an unexpected turn. The impulse must be attributed to the fact that Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan have long been proposing to reform the organization and partially restrict its rights. For instance, Russian Federation has several times exercised its right of veto in the council in respect of some documents supporting the "double standards" policy.

However, Georgia seems to welcome the initiative, frankly rejoicing the fact that Kazakhstan, being Russia's ally, is speaking for the settlement of painful problems:

- In due time, OSCE was to set order in the region but the organization thought it better to shuffle it off to Russia. It would be good now if they did something but I doubt that OSCE leadership will venture any serious steps. Though, it is pleasant to hear Kazakhstan speaking for a positive contribution to the problem. But Russia's position is the main obstacle on the way to settling the territorial conflict. Another obstacle is OSCE leadership, which is under Russia's thumb. Attack is the best form of defense. Russia is constantly trying to establish some guilt of OSCE's to improve its own position. This organization should precisely follow all the stipulated principles and rules to avoid manipulating on the part of other countries, - Alexander Rondeli, president of the Georgian strategic and international research foundation believes.

At this point, our interlocutor seems to be self-contradictory: either the leadership is dancing to Russia's pipe, or Russia is catching OSCE in an unjust assessment of the situations, considering its rights to be prejudiced.

Besides, Georgia has got nothing to complain about so far. OSCE is pretending to interfere in the regional situation. For instance, France has nearly driven the Russian side crazy by its permanent claims about the non-compliance with Medvedev-Sarkozy six-item agreement. France claims that the location of C-300 in Abkhazia and South Ossetia threatens the regional safety. Still, let us forgive the gentlemen their notorious "double standards" and turn a blind eye on the American troops' presence in Georgia. The only question is, what is Georgian government thinking about, putting all the eggs in one basket and looking back at the West? In this case, US have got no weight, being unable to help bring back the pre-war frontiers by word or by sword. Russian Federation has already shown in 2008 that it is not going to wipe off the West's spittle.

Meanwhile, the experts keep talking in chorus about the need for Georgia's multi-vector policy but the latter seems to be deaf, although even this kind of policy in case with the unsettled territorial dispute is limited by just several European countries that have got no such problems. The rest of the states with a considerable political weight have got their reasons to maintain neutral attitude. China, Great Britain, Spain and Belgium are keeping silent not because of their unwillingness to support Russia and recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia's sovereignty but because they are afraid of creating a dangerous precedent for themselves:

- No matter what the US do, if Russia and its allies develop a certain position, they will be difficult to jump over. Naturally, one has to find a way out but, to my mind, it should not be done through humiliating Georgia and recognizing these "occupied territories". Most countries of the world have got mixed population; there are other nationalities besides the articular ones. As for the silence kept by other countries... They think it unreasonable to alter the things that might be dangerous for them, that is why they behave that way, - Alexander Rondeli believes.


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