Diplomatic Victory as EU Calls for Russian De-Occupation of Georgia
By Messenger Staff
Monday, November 21On November 17 the European Parliament adopted a resolution demanding the de-occupation of Georgian territories by Russia, placing responsibility at Moscow's feet for the ethnic cleansing of the Georgian population and the occupied territories.
The resolution is of a recommendatory character and accordingly Russian occupying forces cannot be forced to retreat, however the fact that this international body adopted such resolution means that Moscow’s policy against its neighbor is negatively assessed by the international community. The resolution was supported by 527 delegates. Only 23 were against and 34 abstained. The resolution was prepared based on a report made by Polish Christian Democrat Krzysztof Lisek.
As everybody admits, the major achievement of this resolution is the fact that it officially recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions as occupied by Russia. There was a serious terminology battle concerning the term ‘occupation’. Russia was doing its best to fix the term “independent states” in regard to the Abkhazian and South Ossetian regions however despite Moscow’s efforts its plans failed. Instead officially these territories have now been identified as occupied territories. As is known, the US Senate and several European countries have now established official documents calling for the de-occupation of the Georgian territories by Russia and together with this newly adopted resolution this decision gives a vivid picture of how Russia’s conduct is evaluated by the international community.
It is also significant that this document identified the fact that ethnic cleansing takes place on those territories. This is the first time that the ethnic cleansing has been recognized as occurring and declared a clear cut crime against the Georgian population of the breakaway regions.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili highly evaluated the document adopted by European Parliament, emphasizing in particular that this document reveals Russia’s crimes against humanity.
“This resolution is important and decisive in our struggle for Georgia’s eventual liberation, de-occupation and European future from several points of view. First, what is most important in this resolution is that it clearly reflects that Russia carries out an illegal military occupation of Georgia’s regions,” Saakashvili said.
“No matter how things develop, after this resolution Europe – our major space for existence – will never recognize Russia’s occupation as a legitimate act. After this resolution Europe will never recognize the independence of Georgia’s regions. That is an unimaginable blow for the insidious plans, which they [Russia’s leadership] had,” the president added.
Analysts in Georgia also agree upon the significance of the document. Georgia achieved a serious diplomatic victory, naming Russia as an occupier is definitely damaging to the Russian position both politically and legally. It is clear that Russia will not de-occupy the territories in the near future. But it also failed to achieve the recognition of these territories as independent states worldwide. Russian foreign policy in this area is failing both from diplomatic and moral standpoints.