Mishiko savors a handout from UN04.07.2011 | 19:46
The Georgian version of the refugee resolution recently discussed at the UN General Assembly shows that Saakashvili keeps losing points in the international arena. The document was supported by 57 national delegations, voteв down by 13 the most curious thing is that 74 countries abstained. Though Georgian diplomats consider support for the politicized document as a small victory, their Russian colleagues believe that consideration of such resolutions is Tbilisi's explicit propaganda. GeorgiaTimes correspondent got in touch with Evgeny Minchenko and Sergey Mikheev, well-known Russian experts, asking them to comment on the results of the meeting in New York.
Minchenko and Sergey Mikheev, well-known Russian experts, asking them to comment on the results of the meeting in New York.
Every year Tbilisi is taking pains to tell the West about "atrocities" of the Russians in the "breakaway territories" and pseudo-occupation organized by the big neighbor. International community still believes in these compassionate stories and keeps voting in favor of disputable documents brought from Sakartvelo. This time the resolution was again supported. But an important detail is that almost half of all delegations simply abstained from voting. Not incidentally, it seems.
Yet, for Georgian diplomats even minor support is like balm to their hearts. "This resolution is extremely important - it confirms the fact of Russia's "occupation" of Georgian territories and the right of refugees to get back to their homes", - Kakha Lomaya, Georgia's UN envoy exclaims. It is not quite clear what recognition of "occupation" the United Nations confirms. The document only reiterates "necessity to observe property rights of all internally displaced persons and refugees affected by the conflicts in Georgia, and refrain from buying properties in violation of these rights". As the document stipulates, "violent change in the demographic situation is entirely unacceptable".
As Russian FM Sergey Lavrov justly remarks, the idea to consider the resolution at the UN's General Assembly has nothing to do with the care for people that seek humanitarian solutions - it's pursuit of propaganda purposes. Deputy head of the Russian delegation Alexander Pankin emphasized that the document presented by the Georgian diplomats is outside the context of contemporary political reality in the region. "Objective reality is that there are two independent states in the region - Abkhazia and South Ossetia - and Georgian leaders will have to admit that sooner or later", - he added.
It is believed in Smolenskaya square that the Georgian side deliberately brings up such reports bypassing Geneva discussions on security and stability in Caucasus because of possible reaction from representatives of Sukhum and Tskhinval. New York and Brussels, both used to dealing with Tbilisi alone, provide more room for "complaints and proposals". According to Inal Pukhaev, head of administration of Tskhinval district of South Ossetia, these "refugees" were not asked if they want to live in the independent republic". "They have homes and cottages built for them, they live wonderfully there, as the Georgian propaganda claims, so why should they get back to South Ossetia, where - as official Tbilisi reiterates - "life is not good"? - IA Res quotes. - It's illogical. Thus Georgia has again managed to deceive 57 countries that voted in favor of the resolution". Pukhaev also reminds that 120,000 Ossetians were evicted from Georgian in 1991-1992, and no refugee had been brought back over the past 20 years. "Who will take them back to their homes? These homes were divided between Georgians long ago. Why did the UN ignore that in 1991-1992? It was barefaced genocide and an ethnic cleansing", - he summed up.
GeorgiaTimes correspondent asked Evgeny Minchenko, director of the International Institute of Political Expertise, and Sergey Mikheev, vice president of the Center of Political Conjuncture, why the Georgian resolution was supported by half of UN member state delegations present in New York.
Minchenko: I think the West has got over the peak of disgust for Saakashvili. On the other hand, there is no overall support for the president of Georgia. Moreover, Georgia's image as a specimen of liberal reforms in the post-Soviet space is strongly undermined and devaluated. However, the Georgian leader still has possibilities to pursue his own agenda. We see that despite the fact that Georgia's resolution did not obtain general support, Saakashvili manages to push such politicized documents through thanks to the USA. This is just a tool to put pressure on Russia and two independent states.
Mikheev: Speaking about the countries that have abstained it's clear why they don't want to have a position. They realize what is going on in the region, and they are not satisfied with the explanations of the Georgians. Generally speaking, the UN acknowledges the status quo, i.e. the current situation, and is unwilling to dig deeper and make assessments.