Viola Von Cramon about the situation in the conflict regionss
By Ana Robakidze
Wednesday, February 27Viola Von Cramon, a member of the Alliance 90/Greens party since 2009 in the German Bundestag, spoke about the report on the humanitarian situation in the conflict and war-affected areas in Georgia at the Parliamentary Assembly Session.
“I find the report to be very balanced," Cramon said. She was the first European MP in 2010 to visit the Gali region and Sokhumi in Abkhazia after the war in 2008. Cramor said that both the Georgian Government, as well as the de-facto government of the Abkhazian break-away region helped her to arrive in Sokhumi.
"Neither Russian, nor Abkhazian or the Georgian governments have taken any measures to improve the condition of the people (in the conflict region)," Cramon said. She finds the conditions ethnically Georgian people have to live in the Gali region unbearable. People in Gali have been living in poverty since 1992.
Cramon stressed the importance of the political decisions to improve the living conditions through the conflict region. Therefore it is important that the report encourages the execution of EU resolutions adopted earlier. She thinks that "there is no alternative to expanding the format of dialogue and now the talks should really start about the conditions IDPs have to live in."
The German MP believes that Russia has the most power to stop the conflict. However, it fails to do so, as the Russian side has not fulfilled the obligations taken under the six-point ceasefire plan ratified back in 2008. Cramon specially stressed the fact that European observer missions still are not allowed to enter the conflict zones of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Viola Von Cramon believes that the new government of Georgia will take all necessary efforts to start a serious dialogue with the parties. "The new minister Paata Zakareishvili with the help of his long time experience offers the Russian side a great chance to settle the conflict," Cramon said in her speech. "Apart from the political resolution of the conflict, the European Council should focus their attention on the future perspectives for IDPs, which first of all implies the access to education and jobs." she added.
Cramon is not happy with the work the government is involved in so far. She is sure that the negotiations should be taken further and parliamentarians should be engaged in talks. "I believe this will be a huge step forward," she said, emphasizing the fact that conflict resolution depends only on the political will of the sides.
Political analyst Soso Tsintsadze finds it to be doubtful that expanding negotiations and engaging parliamentarians in talks can bring actual results, as parliament members mostly lack independence in their decisions, especially representatives of the break-away regions of Akhazia and South Ossetia, who cannot make even very simple decisions without the full engagement of the Russians. Tsintsadze told The Messenger that the humanitarian situation in the conflict regions is alarming and it is getting even worse. "Up until 2008 it was possible to transport patients from the Gali region to other Georgian towns for surgery and medical treatment. However, the Russians have restricted transportation now," he said.
The expert also doubts the actual power and effectiveness of the EU and its resolutions. "It all depends on the Russian side and Europe is the only one able to have an impact and pressure on Russians. However, the EU has many problems itself and currently is unable to take any actual steps for the conflict resolution. They could not even send their observer mission to the conflict regions." Tsintsadze said.