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EU: Russia Must Allow EUMM into Occupied Territories

By Ernest Petrosyan
Friday, December 16
The European Parliament (EP) adopted another supportive resolution, reaffirming its principle position regarding Georgia’s territorial integrity and political pressure on Russian on the eve of the EU-Russia summit.

The 24 point resolution, “reiterates Russia’s commitment to fully implement the Six-Point Ceasefire Agreement, including respect for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity; welcomes Russian readiness to move forward on a framework agreement in the field of crisis management operations; calls, in this respect, on the Russian authorities to be consistent and allow, therefore, the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia to have access to the occupied territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in compliance with the 2008 Ceasefire Agreement”.

Georgian politicians hailed another pleasant sounding resolution. Georgian lawmakers are also hopeful that such documents reinforce the diplomatic grounds for the process, which finally should end up with the de-occupation of Georgia`s occupied territories [Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region].

“In this resolution, the EP calls on Russia to give international monitors access to Georgia`s occupied territories and comply with its commitments taken by the 2008 ceasefire agreement,” said Georgia`s Ambassador to the EU, Salome Samadashvili.

According to the chairperson of the parliamentary committee for European Integration Davit Darchiashvili, criticism towards Russia will be repeated again and again and will inevitably move to the structures, in which the EU and Russia are cooperating.

“The prospects of this cooperation will become even vaguer unless Russia becomes more adequate both in its internal and external policy,” Darchiashvili said.

“If in previous years the EU had been closing its eyes to various violations in Russia. Now, apparently the level of violations has reached a critical limit. Much depends on the Russian population which also woke up, and the EU considered that it is an appropriate time to support democratic processes in Russia,” said analyst Kakha Gogolashvili.

Support for Georgia’s as regards its territorial integrity and de-occupation however was not the only Kremlin-annoying idea in the resolution dedicated to EU-Russia relations. The European Parliament has also expressed its deep concern regarding the OSCE/ODIHR report on procedural elections violation.

The resolution also welcomes the demonstrations in Russia as an expression of the will of the Russian people for more democracy; condemns the crackdown by the police on peaceful demonstrations protesting about election irregularities, and urges the Russian authorities to respect freedom of assembly and expression, and to leave peaceful demonstrators unharmed.

The European Parliament also called on Russia for an annulment of the 4 December 2011 State Duma elections penalizing the officials involved and a rerun of the voting where irregularities have occurred.

Yet, according to the resolution, the European Parliament “considers that Russia, which has veto power in the UN Security Council, must live up to its responsibilities in international crises; stresses that challenges on an international level, in particular with regard to Syria and Iran, cannot be solved without a coordinated approach which includes Russia, [the EP] calls on Russia to join the global efforts to block Iran’s attempts to enrich uranium and other nuclear activities aiming at building nuclear weapons; [the EP also] calls on the Russian authorities to endorse the international sanctions against Iranian entities in response to the storming of the British Embassy”.