Leaving Perevi: two opinions
By Messenger Staff
Friday, October 22Russia is continuing its cynical conduct after freeing Perevi, claiming that it has completely fulfilled the Medvedev-Sarkozy agreement. The Russian foreign ministry officially stated that the conditions of the Sarkozy-Medvedev agreement were fulfilled and that Russia had freed the Georgian territories. The other occupied Georgian lands of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region, are not considered Georgian territories by Russia, but rather as independent countries. Of course, the Georgian side reacted immediately, calling this statement 'cynical' and demanding that Russia withdraws entirely from the occupied territories, as Perevi makes up less than 1% of Russian occupied territory. Russian attempts to shamelessly lie are not accepted by the international community. Catherine Ashton, EU commissioner for foreign affairs, stated that further steps should be taken to comply with the commitments taken by the sides according to the 2008 august 12 agreement. Rather controversial however were the statements of the French president. Sarkozy stated in a very vague way that Georgia should refrain from the use of force. This could be understood in two ways. Georgia should agree and sign an agreement with its breakaway regions as equal legal entities which is demanded by Moscow and puppet regimes but ignored, so far, by Georgia. This would be an attempt at indirect recognition of the puppet entities. Alternatively, it means that Georgia should unilaterally declare that it will not use force. Both these options are unacceptable for Georgia as it claims that non use of force is already agreed and signed with Russia, and it is not going to go further in this direction. There is an opinion among the Georgian analysts that maybe the EU will accept the a situation where Georgia signs an agreement with the territories where, in return, Russia would allow EU observers in the Georgian breakaway territories but this is merely speculation. The fact is that the Georgian position once again was confirmed by Temur Yakobashvili who said that Georgia is ready, if necessary, to sign a non use of force agreement with Russia but not with its own regions.
There should be no illusion that Perevi will be followed by Russians withdrawing from other territories as well. Moscow still stubbornly repeats its ‘new reality’ formula. But this ‘new reality’ gave birth to new reality in the northern Caucasus where Russia seems to exercise less and less control. So as the saying goes in Georgia; You reap what you sow.