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August 12 agreement not fulfilled

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, August 19
The Medvedev – Sarkozy signed agreement of August 12, 2008 is the only document regulating relations between Georgia and Russia. Since the 2008 Russian invasion there have been no diplomatic relations between the two countries and this legal document sets the preconditions for regulating relations between Georgia and Russia. However Russia violated the treaty just few weeks after and it is unlikely it will fulfill the stipulated conditions in the near future.

The agreement envisaged the return of the military contingents of both countries to the site of their deployment before the military clashes. This of course means complete de-occupation of Georgian territories. Prior to August 8 there were some Russian forces present as part of the CIS peacekeeping operation. However Russia ignores international law as well as its signed commitment to follow this law. Moscow has not withdrawn from the Georgian territories; moreover it has recognised Sokhumi and Tskhinvali puppet regimes as independent, treats them as such, forms so-called agreements with these puppet entities and builds up its military strength on the territories. It recently came to light that Russia is keeping S-300 anti aircraft missiles in Abkhazia, and according some sources, it has plans to deploy the same devices in Tskhinvali region. So, to cut a long story short, Moscow is not about to fulfill its commitments in the near future.

The west and the USA request that Russia abide by its commitments, but here the question arises: do the west and the USA have enough levers to force Russia to follow its obligations? Under the circumstances when the USA it in the process of resetting its policy towards Moscow it is unlikely that Russia will change its attitude about the issue. Moreover it has become evident that the west and the USA need Russia and therefore they will not dare upset it. There is a NATO operation in Afghanistan and Russia serves as logistic supply to the site and Europe is greatly dependent on Russian natural gas. This is a sad but inevitable reality, think Georgian analysts. According to the opinion of analyst Archil Gegeshidze it cannot be ruled out however that a new policy will eventually yield to some concessions from Russia. For example Gegeshidze points out Russia's decision to conduct certain sanctions against Iran for its nuclear programmes and that would have been absolutely unimaginable just few years ago. There is a very slight positive aspect of the current situation as it appears public opinion worldwide supports Georgia’s constructive and consistent policy in abiding by all of its international commitments, while Russia violates them. Of course this creates a favourable attitude towards Georgia’s position and more and more countries are openly declaring their support for Georgia’s claims.

International public opinion also condemns Russia’s destructive role in prohibiting the entry of international observers into both Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.

However to rephrase a popular Russian saying ‘Moscow does not trust tears’ – we can say: Moscow does not care about opinions.