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Geneva: Saakashvili is called to account09.03.2011 | 12:29
Another round of talks on stability and security in South Caucasus took place in Geneva attended by representatives of Georgia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Russia, the USA and a number of international organizations. Among key topics were bellicose statements by Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili who invited to celebrate the next New Year in Sukhum making it clear that Tbilisi is still at war with Moscow. GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed possible signature of a non-aggression pact that the Russian, Abkhaz and South Ossetian sides have been actively pressing for lately, with Maxim Grigoryev, director of Democracy Problems Research Foundation.
All recent discussions of South Caucasus problems held in Geneva arrive at a dead end for one reason: while Mikheil Saakashvili pretends to be a peace maker swearing he will never use force against Abkhazia and South Ossetia again, Tbilisi does nothing to sign "a non-aggression" pact with two Transcaucasian republics.
Firstly, according to Sakartvelo diplomats that continue to consider Tskhinval and Sukhum as Georgian towns in neglect of a new reality, it's inadmissible to sign documents with Georgian territories. Secondly, from time to time the leaders of the republic call to bring Abkhazia and South Ossetia back. For instance, not long ago Mikheil Saakashvili invited people of Georgia to "celebrate the next new year in Sukhum" apparently forgetting his peaceful promises. He added that presently Georgia is still "at war" with Russia.
Naturally, Abkhazia was extremely alarmed at this statement. The ministry of foreign affairs of the republic reiterates that the words of the Georgian president are an unveiled call to start preparations for a new military aggression against Abkhazia and South Ossetia. "Georgia confirmed that its army is making serious preparations for a new large-scale military provocation and so-called peaceful statements of Georgian president of November 24, 2010 in European Parliament were an attempt to disguise Georgia's ceaseless desire to continue hostilities", - the official statement reads.
Moscow did not keep silent either. At the recent round of Geneva talks Russian diplomats spoke about Saakashvili's contradictory statements. "Before August 2008 we heard similar statements that brought pitiful results to international security and regional stability. Now these things are repeated", - Russia's deputy FM Grigory Karasin said. According to him, Moscow is not going to guarantee non-use of force to Georgia as Tbilisi wants since that would be unlawful. "It is unacceptable to us for one simple reason - we are not a conflicting party and we have never been. This is absolutely unjustified on our part", - Interfax quotes.
In Switzerland the Russian side confirmed its readiness to act as a guarantor of non-repetition of a war between Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. To prevent it Russia deployed military bases in Transcaucasian republics. Presently these are constraining factors for Saakashvili's aggressive regime. Grigory Karasin reminded that if Tbilisi does not want to sign any documents with Tskhinval and Sukhum, the compromise can be reached in unilateral declarations without countersignatures. Nonetheless, today the Georgian side is not ready for that.
GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed Mikheil Saakashvili's contradictory statements and prospects of signing a non-use of force agreement with Maxim Grigoryev, a well-known Russian expert.
- I don't think that with Saakashvili as president Georgia will want to sign any documents with South Ossetia or Abkhazia. That would mean an indirect recognition of their independence for Tbilisi. Georgian leaders try to demonstrate their readiness to start negotiations, to improve their image displaying their general negotiability for the West. Yet, Tbilisi does not want any agreements with Tskhinval and Sukhum. Signing such agreements with Russia makes no sense at all since any aggression is out of question.
- What is there to say about Saakashvili's peaceful statements and his inertness to sign a non-aggression pact?
- Saakashvili's statements are extremely relative and must not be taken seriously. Politics of Georgian leadership throws a shadow of some PR-activity with a strong element of farce and profanation.
- What is the prospect of signing a unilateral peace declaration the Russian side presently insists on?
- From a legal point of view this declaration does make sense. Still, if the situation in Georgia changes this agreement will be neglected. Though certainly any globally recognized legal statement Tbilisi will make on non-use of force against South Ossetia and Abkhazia must be favored, naturally.