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Tbilisi slams Moscow’s “fulfillment of the ceasefire agreement” claims

By Mzia Kupunia
Wednesday, December 29
Tbilisi has criticized a report by the Russian Foreign Ministry about Russia’s top foreign political events of the 2010 year. The Georgian Foreign Ministry issued a special statement on Tuesday, condemning the part of the report, where the Russian MFA assesses the withdrawal of the Russian troops from the Georgian village of Perevi, Sachkhere region, last October as a “finalization” of Russia’s completion of the August 2008 ceasefire document points.

Russian Foreign Ministry issued the report illustrating top foreign political events of the current year on December 27th. The ninth paragraph of the report says that the Russian side has “Supported the signing of a non use of force document between Georgia and South Ossetia and Georgia and Abkhazia at the Geneva discussions. [Moscow] has constructively participated in the functioning of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism meetings at the border between Abkhazia and Georgia. The withdrawal of a Russian Border Checkpoint from the village of Perevi on the disputed section of Georgian-South Ossetian border in October has finalized the issue of Russia’s completion of the Medvedev-Sarkozy agreement commitments.”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Grigory Karasine voiced Moscow’s intention to withdraw from Perevi on October 14th after the 13th round of Geneva talks. The Georgian side then assessed the decision as a “step in the right direction.” “However, Perevi is only a part of the occupied territories, 20 percent of Georgian territories still remain occupied and the main points of the 2008 ceasefire agreement, including the point about de-occupation still remain unfulfilled,” The Georgian President’s press speaker, Manana Manjgaladze said on October 19th. "The withdrawal of Russian troops from the village of Perevi has proved that pressure from the international community can bring positive results. We hope that the diplomatic pressure will continue,” she added.

In its Tuesday’s statement the Georgian Foreign Ministry reiterated Tbilisi’s position on Moscow’s claims that by withdrawing from Perevi the issue of Russia fulfilling the 2008 August 12th ceasefire agreement has been “closed.” “The international community has also clearly pointed out the necessity for Russia to fully meet the points envisaged in the abovementioned document,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.

Officials in Tbilisi have suggested that the assessments of Moscow have proved that Russia “ not going to reply to Georgia’s unilateral peace initiative...” and that the Kremlin will “...continue its rude violation of the August 12th, 2008 ceasefire agreement and will go on demonstratively ignoring the just demands of the international community.”

“The deployment of new armament on Georgia’s occupied territories and the militarization of these territories should be considered in the same context, as well as Moscow’s attempts to prolong Geneva talks and the activities of international organizations, including the UN and the OSCE into the deadlock,” the Georgian MFA’s statement reads “We would like to repeatedly stress that Russia’s full completion of international norms and principles as well as its commitments and the full de-occupation of Georgia’s territories will become a base for long-term peace and stability in the region and all of Europe,” it continues.

The Russian Foreign Ministry named discussions about Medvedev’s Treaty on European Security as one of the most important foreign political events of 2010. “Despite the differences of opinions, an understanding has been established, that security in the Euro-Atlantics should be undivided and that the system of international mechanisms in this sphere needs to be updated,” the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.

The Georgian side has commented on this issue as well, saying that rejecting its commitments, including the agreements signed at the international level has become Russian diplomacy’s “business card”. “Considering this fact, skepticism from foreign partners regarding any Russian initiative, including the so called Treaty on European Security, should not be surprising,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said in its statement.