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Council of Europe to discuss situation in Georgia

By Temuri Kiguradze
Tuesday, September 8
Georgian delegation will participate in the session of Parliament Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE) monitoring committee on Georgia scheduled to be conducted in Paris on September 9.

The session will discuss the draft resolution on the development in Russian-Georgian conflict for the PACE session in the end of September. PACE Rapporteur Matyas Eorsi and Luc Van de Brande will deliver reports at the session of the committee. Georgian Ambassador to the Council of Europe, Zurab Chiaberashvili stated that the report of the Council of Europe was “very sharp” towards Russia and it scrupulously described the Russian policy towards the conflicts.

“The report says that this kind of policy can no longer be carried out and that Russia should declare openly whether it plans to meet the resolutions of the Council of Europe,” Chiaberashvili told Georgian journalists on September 7.

Georgian delegation expects some concrete results from the upcoming PACE session, one of the stated priorities are the letting of the international observers on the territories of Georgian breakaway regions of Abakzhia and South Ossetia, as for now these territories are left without any kind of the international presence after Russia’s veto on the continuation of UN and OSCE observing missions mandates. This issue was also underlined by the head of PACE migration and refugee commission Korean Yonker, who noted that the fact that international observers have no access to Abkhazian and South Ossetian regions is “the biggest problem.”

“I don’t want to interfere in the political confrontation. The goal of our organisation is the decision on the allowance of the international monitoring in the zones of Georgian conflicts. No one knows what’s happening there and how the rights of Georgians and Ossetians are violated. This causes the indignation of the international community. EU should gain the right to operate on the location,” stated Yonker on September 7 as quoted by Georgian media.

It has also been announced that Georgian delegation in PACE will pose the question for the deprival of Russia’s right of vote in the organization as the response of Kremlin’s ignorance towards the previous PACE resolutions condemning Russia’s actions in August Russian-Georgian war. Moscow has already reacted on this topic stating that Russia may “take a break” in the relations with PACE in the case Georgia’s proposal will be accepted. "I see no reason to participate in Parliamentary Assembly sessions without having the ability to influence decisions," stated the head of Russia’s delegation in PACE Konstantin Kosachyov on September 4. "If any initiatives emerge that contain a repressive character in relation to our delegation [in PACE], we will report this to the leaders of both houses of parliament [in Russia] and request a subsequent directive," he said.

“It’s quite possible for our delegation to gain the goal and make PACE pause Russian vote right in the organization. However I don’t think that this step will be useful for the resolving of the conflicts in Georgia,” considers Georgian political analyst Shalva Pichkhadze. “In the case our European partners support Georgia’s initiative, it would be quite possible for us to create some troubles for Russia in PACE, however it will not make Moscow to withdraw its troops or to let international observers in Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” concluded Pichkhadze talking to The Messenger on September 7.