Thursday, January 22, 2009

PACE welcomes Russia’s intention to dialogue on Russia-Georgia conflict consequences

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) welcomes intention of the Russian authorities to engage in a constructive and open dialogue with the Assembly and Georgian partners to solve mutual concern in relation to the conflict, Lluís Maria de Puig, President of PACE, said. "I welcome the frank discussions with the Russian authorities and their willingness to engage in a constructive and open dialogue with the Assembly," said Lluís Maria de Puig, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), at the end of a visit of PACE's Presidential Committee to Moscow on Jan. 18 and 19, 2009.

The Assembly regrets that, as a result of this position, put forward by Russia, very few demands of the Resolution of PACE 1633(2008), have been met, the PACE press release said.
Resolution 1633 on the theme Consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia was adopted at the plenary session of PACE on Oct. 2. It states that the beginning of the war in South Ossetia could be unexpected, but the war was the result of a serious escalation of tension, provocation and associated deterioration in the security situation. PACE believes that Russia is fully responsible for the violation of human rights, humanitarian law in regions under its control.
The Presidential Committee visited Moscow to discuss the implementation of the Resolution with the highest Russian authorities, including the Speakers of the State Duma and Council of the Federation and Foreign Minister.

At the night of 8 August, large-scale military operations were launched in the self-declared South Ossetia republic. The Georgian troops entered Tskhinvali. Later the Russian troops entered the city and drove the Georgian forces back to the Georgian territory. On Aug. 26 Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. On Sept. 9 Russia sets diplomatic relations with Abkhazia and S.Ossetia.

The Russian authorities during the meeting made their comments on the PACE Resolution, which is biased towards Russia.

"I regret that, as a result of this position, very few demands of the Assembly have been met," said Mr de Puig, stressing that the resolution provided a transparent, impartial and concrete roadmap to address the consequences of the war, not only for the parties concerned, but also for the Assembly itself.

"These are positive elements that will certainly be discussed during the debate at the forthcoming part-session of the Assembly in Strasbourg," said Mr de Puig.
The tension along the administrative borders between Georgia and the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia proves PACE's position that the continued presence of international monitors, with full and unrestricted access to all areas of the former conflict zone, is clearly needed, and that a new, internationalised format for the peacekeeping force should be established

The report of the Monitoring Committee on the implementation of Resolution 1633(2008) by Georgia and Russia, as well as the report of the Committee on Migration Refugees and Population on the humanitarian consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia, will be debated by the Assembly on Jan. 28, 2009.

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