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Compiled by Mzia Kupunia
Thursday, October 9
Recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia has isolated Russia

NATO Secretary General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer has said that the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia has led Russia to isolation, Sakartvelos Respublika reports. “Nobody except Russia has recognized these two regions, that’s why this decision has left Russia isolated,” Scheffer said at the first conference devoted to world politics. The NATO Secretary General called on the Russian Federation to reverse its decision about recognizing the independence of Georgia’s breakaway regions and instead hold international debates on the subject. “Recognising Russia’s actions would mean recognising the possibility of changing borders by force,” Scheffer said.

Ban Ki-moon demands the extension of UN mission mandate

The Secretary General of the United Nations suggests that the events of August were not unexpected, 24 Saati reports. Ban Ki-moon said the latest developments in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone, tensions between Russia and Georgia and the recognition of Kosovo had been the reasons that had led some to predict the conflict. “After the most recent events the working arrangements of the UN observer mission might change, however at this stage the UN mission mandate, which expires on October 15, should be extended for four more months,” Ban Ki-moon said.

Geneva meeting approaches

International negotiations, initiated by France, on regulating the Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-Ossetian conflicts will be held on October 15, 24 Saati reports. The Sarkozy-Medvedev agreement is to be discussed.

Georgian Government members will be attending the talks, but despite the fact very little time remains the executive does not have any information about the format of the meeting. The Russian side will also participate in the meeting, and Moscow hopes that representatives of Georgia’s breakaway regions will also be involved in the negotiations, although Tbilisi has rejected this idea.

“Nothing has been decided so far regarding the format of the meeting. It is hard to prognosticate anything. Russia will do its best to involve the separatists in the negotiations too, however we are strongly objecting to this,” Temur Yakobashvili, the State Minister for Reintegration said. Georgian MPs however have different information about the Geneva meeting. According to MP Shota Malashkhia, Russia will not participate in the talks. “Russia is responsible for ethnic cleansing and the guilty side is not usually invited to these kind of meetings,” said Shota Malashkhia. “A plan for returning IDPs to their homes is being worked out in Geneva,” Malashkhia added.

International relations analyst Shalva Pichkhadze considers that the Geneva meeting should be held in an extended format, involving analysts. “The Russians might include Abkhazians and Ossetians in their delegation, which will be really derogatory for the separatists, because they claim independence. It is possible that they might declare that they represent independent states when they are in Geneva. There is another possibility – that Russia might refuse to participate in the negotiations without the involvement of the Abkhaz and South Ossetians, and in this way threaten to wreck the talks,” Pichkhadze said.