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Sakartvelo in deep PACE reserve18.04.2011 | 13:07
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe continues watching the situation in Georgia. One of these days, PACE discussed Tbilisi's fulfillment of obligations to the Council of Europe. In general, reporters positively assessed the changes in the republic and made it clear that Saakashvili and his team have got certain problems. But Sakartvelo diplomats were not interested in that; they delighted in the fact that the assembly included the provision on the "occupation of two separatist regions" in the text of the final resolution. Such doubtful wording in an international document was discussed by GeorgiaTimes correspondent with a famous Russian expert Sergey Demidenko.
resolution. Such doubtful wording in an international document was discussed by GeorgiaTimes correspondent with a famous Russian expert Sergey Demidenko.
In the opinion of Michael Aastrup Jensen and Kastriot Islami, Georgian authorities "are making significant progress" in fulfilling their obligations to the Council of Europe despite the strong influence and consequences of the war with Russia in 2008. Nevertheless, a Dane and an Albanian believe that PACE should respond to those problems that are reflected in the final statement of the monitoring group, Novosti-Georgia reports.
For instance, they recommend Tbilisi to reconsider the procedure of expressing non-confidence in the government, specify the president's powers in conducting negotiations on international agreements and enhance the role of the parliament in the budget approval. Moreover, Jensen and Islami believe that Sakartvelo's authorities need to provide media transparency, make the law-enforcement authorities independent, abolish the merger of the prosecutor's office and the Ministry of Justice and tackle on the investigation of the cases of bribery among the high-ranking officials.
The monitoring group is especially concerned about the situation with refugees. Reporters reminded Saakashvili and his team about the forced eviction of refugees from their dwellings in the Georgian capital and openly demanded guarantees that any such actions will be carried out fully in compliance with the international standards.
One should think that the Georgian regime has got a lot to think about after these remarks. But no - how can such "trifles" be compared to the inclusion of a provision on the "occupation of two separatist regions" into the text of the final resolution?! It is much more important for the diplomats who came from Tbilisi to gain the West's support in a virtual fight for the "lost territories" rather than work on pseudo-democracy, of which Mr. Saakashvili likes to boast so much, by the way, in Washington and Brussels. "We are used to monitoring - we've got a lot of unsettled questions; but the fact that the passage about the occupation of the regions remained in the text of the resolution is a real victory, and we are so glad", - member of the Georgian delegation Georgy Gabashvili stated openly.
Russian diplomats were not at all surprised at these delights. According to Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the State Duma of RF Konstantin Kosachev, PACE at the suggestion of the Georgian delegation continues to wrongly assess the August-2008 events the South Ossetia as Russia's war with Georgia. "What Saakashvili tried to do to the people whom he calls his people is the same as what Gaddafi is trying to do in Libya, - he is cited by Kavkazsky Uzel. - Russia responded in the same way as the world community is responding to what is happening in Libya today".
It is not quite clear why the assembly decided to mention Sakartvelo's false occupation in the text about Georgia's domestic problems. In January, PACE decided to discuss the Russian-Georgian file in the following format: reporters will prepare reference materials on the state of affairs in relationship between Moscow and Tbilisi and familiarize European parliamentarians with them. Moreover, the Assembly unanimously transferred the consideration of the issue of the August-2008 events in the South Caucasus from a separate report to the rank of the so-called country monitoring. GeorgiaTimes correspondent talked to the expert of the Strategic Assessment Institute Sergey Demidenko about why Europe is sticking to the outdated and irrelevant wording.
- To my mind, one should not attach importance to this fact. Europe's policy in many issues is still very unstable. Notably, the latest events in Libya showed that Europe has got no definite structured doctrine, there are no weighed views of this or that serious problem, and there is no consensus. Such moments happen because of the immaturity of the foreign paradigm and the fact that a break between the countries is possible. That is why I wouldn't talk about anti-Russian attitude in this case. One should not focus on the fact that they included the items about the "occupation" deliberately to spite Russia.
- Will PACE manage to avoid such wording with time?
- Hardly, in the nearest time. But it's possible in future. It needs a well-defined and weighted political line with tasks and objectives. Europe does not have it right now and it is unclear whether it will acquire it in the nearest time.