The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Thursday, October 9
Russian Orthodox Church refuses to accept Abkhaz and South Ossetian parishes

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has refused to accept under its omophor the Ossetian and Abkhaz Orthodox parishes which have expressed a wish to leave the Georgian Orthodox Church, Black Sea Press was told at the Patriarchate of Georgia. Thus, the leaders of the Russian Church have openly supported the Georgian Patriarchate, having realised, as clergymen considered, that it would lose one of its allies in the struggle for influence in former CIS territory.

The sitting of the Holy Synod, led by Patriarch of All Russia Aleksi II, was expected to make a decision in favour of receiving the Ossetian and Abkhaz Orthodox churches into the Russian Church. In summer, during an aggravation of the political situation in the North Caucasus, representatives of these churches had expressed a wish to quit the Georgian Orthodox Church and enter the Russian Church as autonomous organizations. But instead it merely sent Archimandrite Roman (Lukin), Pro-Rector of the Stavropol Ecclesiastic Seminary, to assist Archbishop Feofan of Stavropolski and Vladikavkaz, in response to his appeal for practical support. “The tragic events in the North Caucasus and the tragedy in South Ossetia require a rapid and active reaction by the Church”, Archbishop Feofan had said in his appeal.

According to the Press Secretary of the Moscow Patriarchate, Father Vladimir Vigilyanski, the question of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is about giving humanitarian aid to IDPs and assistance to residents of those regions. “The Accession of the Ossetian and Abkhaz churches to the Russian Orthodox Church is out of the question,” Father Vladimir noted. The Patriarchate of Georgia confirmed in a statement that Patriarch Aleksi II of Russia had always confirmed the integrity of the Georgian Church. (Black Sea Press)

Hague Court to give decision on Georgia’s suit against Russia

On October 15 the International Court of Justice in The Hague will announce its decision on Georgia’s lawsuit against the Russian Federation, Black Sea Press was informed at the Ministry of Justice of Georgia.

On 12th of August, 2008 the State of Georgia submitted an application to the UN International Court of Justice to institute proceedings in that court against the Russian Federation. The application is related to ethnic cleansing and support for separatist regimes undertaken by the Russian Federation in Georgia since 1990. The application is based upon the clause of the 1965 International Convention, signed by both Russia and Georgia, which eliminates of all forms of racial discrimination.

The new wave of armed attacks and ethnic cleansing carried out by the Russian Federation in August speeded up the process of preparing this application. Georgia has asked the court to give an urgent response to the ongoing events by taking provisional measures against the Russian Federation, which would oblige it to immediately cease ethnic cleansing and discriminatory acts against Georgians on the grounds of their ethnicity. (Black Sea Press)

Ban Ki-moon to participate in talks in Geneva

UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon will participate in talks in Geneva on the settlement of the Georgian-Ossetian and Georgian-Abkhaz conflicts planned for October 15.

“Next week I will go to Geneva to hold talks with the European Union and OSCE on the situation in Georgia and the UN‘s future role in it,” Ban Ki Moon said at a briefing at UN Headquarters. The Secretary General confirmed that he had presented a report on UNIOMIG activity in the conflict zones to the Security Council, in which he proposed to extend the mandate of the mission, due to expire on October 15, for a further four months. “It will give us time to establish a strict framework for the future cooperation of all side,s”, he said. (Black Sea Press)

Aid allocation progresses

At the end of this week the initial plan of where aid allocated by donors will be spent over the next 18 months will be drawn up, Prime Minister of Georgia Vladimir Gurgenidze said at a Government sitting on October 8.

Work within the individual donor organizations on where their funds would be allocated has been carried out under World Bank aegis, and by Saturday priorities will be determined. These will be considered at the donors conference on October 22 in Brussels, the Prime Minister said. (Black Sea Press)