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Yet another Geneva round without significant results

By Messenger Staff
Monday, August 2
On July 26-27 the 12th round of Geneva negotiations took place. While the conference was supposedly dedicated to Caucasus security issues, in reality it was simply Georgian-Russian negotiations over the Sokhumi and Tskhinvali issues with international mediators as well as representatives from both sides (Georgians and separatists) of the disputed regions. Despite the separatist puppet representatives trying to frustrate the negotiations just before the start– stating that they would not participate – the negotiations went ahead. However just like previous times there were no feasible results; the only agreement being to set the date of the next meeting - October 14, 2010.

However it could be predicted that next round, like the previous ones, will also be fruitless. The Geneva talks were the result of the August 12, 2008 Medvedev-Sarkozy peacekeeping treaty, the goal of which is to achieve security and stability in Caucasus. The word Caucasus appeared in the title of the conference at the demand of the Russian authorities who also wanted Sokhumi and Tskhinvali marionette regimes to be represented in the negotiations. They think of themselves as independent entities supported by Russia rather than parts of the sovereign Georgia. International organizations the OSCE, UN, EU, together with other interested parties still demand that Russia withdraw its military forces from the conflict zone as set out in the Medvedev-Sarkozy treaty; Moscow however remains stubbornly and arrogant refuses to do so, cynically talking about the new reality that it is declaring and then recognizing the Sokhumi and Tskhinvali puppet regimes as independent states. Other than Russia, to date only Venezuela, Nicaragua and Nauru recognized these entities as independent states. But Moscow does not care and persistently exerts pressure, is manipulative and uses blackmail and bribery to manage to preserve the status quo in the region, hoping that more countries will recognize these entities as independent.

In addition, Moscow through the puppet representatives is demanding that Georgia signs a treaty between Tbilisi and Sokhumi, and Tbilisi and Tskhinvali, on the non-use of force. By signing such a treaty Georgia will recognize these entities as equal parties but Tbilisi states that non-use of force was already stated in the Medvedev-Sarkozy treaty which President Saakashvili also signed.

Moscow is using Georgia’s refusal to sign the aforementioned document to discredit Tbilisi around the world, stating that by not signing Georgia is must be getting ready for repeated aggression. However it is clear to everyone more or less familiar with the situation that Georgia will not resume any hostilities – a decision which it has confirmed time and again to the world.

The parties participating in the Geneva talks apart from Russia and its puppet representatives are prepared to work on a compromise document for the non resumption of hostilities; Moscow however rejects any such alternative.

Georgia’s main demands are that the Russian armed forces return to their pre-war positions, and the creation of international guarantees for the safety and security and return of the IDPs to their original homes as per the conditions set out in the August 12 treaty. Moscow with its puppet regimes refuse to do so using ‘new reality’ argument. All sides however, claim that the Geneva talks at least give an opportunity for all the participant sides at least to meet and communicate. For how long such a format will last – nobody knows.