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Did Europe drop the ball on Ukraine, Georgia?

By Ana Robakidze
Friday, November 28
The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) says the treaty on Alliance and Strategic partnership signed between Russia and the de-facto Abkhazian government is a direct violation of international law, as well as the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.

“The text of the document envisages a qualitatively deeper level of integration with the Russian Federation and the incorporation of the Abkhazia region into the Russian military, economic, social and legal space. The document provides for the creation of a "common security and defense space" and a combined group of armed forces,” the MFA said on November 27. According to the ministry, as Abkhazia is one of the regions of Georgia, it cannot be a subject of international law and any attempt to sign a treaty with the region is therefore a flagrant violation of international regulations.

The ministry says Georgia has tried its best to take constructive measures to de-escalate relations with Russia, but Moscow continues its provocative policy.

“In the light of the recent developments in the region, the signature of the document is a clear manifestation of both Russia's far-reaching plans and of its intention to hamper the pro-Western policies of sovereign states, including occupation and annexation,” the MFA said, and expressed the government’s hope to have the unanimous support of the international community against Russia's destructive activities.

“Georgian diplomacy is all mobilized to obtain as much of international support against the Russia-Abkhazia treaty as possible,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Tamar Beruchashvili told the media on November 27. She said the Georgian government supports a peaceful conflict resolution and Georgian representatives are working hard to keep partner states and international organizations updated on the current situation in the conflict regions.

Former European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule is sure European Union policy has to be blamed in the Ukrainian crisis, as well as in the escalated Georgia-Russian relations. Speaking to one of the German news agencies, Fule said the EU has been carrying out an irrational policy towards the Eastern Partnership states and the organization failed to open its doors to Ukraine on time. Therefore the situation escalated in Ukraine and in the Caucasus. According to the Former High Commissioner, the EU simply rejected Ukraine, telling the country their geographic location is unfavorable for the EU.

"We, in fact, have told Ukraine: we are sorry that you have such an unbeneficial geographic location. We are sorry, but you can go neither to the East nor to the West…"How can one tell Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova that integration into the Eurasian Union is something totally incompatible with their aspiration to get closer to the EU and at the same time, refuse to open the door to the EU to them?,” Fule said.

He is sure EU member states have to share the responsibility for everything that is going on in Ukraine and in Georgia’s conflict regions.