Why does Moscow insist on a non-use of force agreement?
By Messenger Staff
Friday, October 8While there are many problems to be resolved, there is one particular issue in Georgian-Russian relations which is always on the agenda. Russia insistently demands that Georgia sign an agreement on the non-use of arms and force, while the Georgian leadership refuses to do so, repeating that this agreement has already been signed as part of the Sarkozy-Medvedev-Saakashvili ceasefire agreement of August 12, 2008. Russian officials think that Georgia should conclude such a treaty with Abkhazia and South Ossetia and this eventually will become the foundation for beginning Georgian-Russian dialogue. Russia is playing a cunning game; it knows full well that Georgia does not want to attack anyone – it has neither the will nor the capacity to do so. Meanwhile Moscow is killing several birds with one stone – it continues its propaganda claiming that Georgia is an aggressive country and knows that if Georgia signs any such agreement it will be indirectly recognising the Russian occupied territories as independent states. Georgian position is clear – a ceasefire agreement has already been signed with Russia, and any agreement should only be between Russia and Georgia as legally they are sides involved in the conflict. In addition today Georgia does not want to make any such agreement with Russia because Russia is still occupying Georgian territories. First and foremost the Sarkozy-Medvedev-Saakashvili articles should be fulfilled as both sides - Georgia and Russia – agreed to do – these are the conditions clearly defined in this agreement.
Georgian analysts suggest different solutions for the deadlock. For instance analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili thinks that the Georgian government should insist on Russia signing similar non-use of force agreements with Chechnya and other Caucasus autonomous republics. His fellow analyst Paata Zalareishvili suggests that the Georgian parliament adopts the resolution of non-use of force against its citizens, however according to him this agreement should only come into force once the Russian forces leave Georgian territory.
Those and maybe other ideas are worth considering, however it is unlikely that Russian imperialists will follow common sense advice and withdraw from Georgia.