Журнал Viche 2008 №19

№19, 2008

New Caucasian triangle: Moscow - Tbilisi – Strasburg

The main theme at the autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) was the Russian-Georgian war. Debates concerning fights in South Ossetia lasted for the whole two days - it is an absolute time record for the PACE. As a rule, no matter what urgent theme is, no more than two-three hours are devoted to it in Strasburg.

Week prior to the opening of session delegation of assembly headed by Luke Van den Brande visited the area of conflict and both Moscow and Tbilisi. Its report became basis for the accepted recommendations and resolution. It is mentioned in this document that the responsibility for the use of weapon, death of hundreds of people (exact amount of victims, by the way, is still unknown), numerous violations of human rights is carried out by both sides. Consequently, both Russia and Georgia rudely violated basic principles of the Council of Europe, which they were obliged to stick to, having entered this organization. In particular, they have to work out all conflicts, including old ones, only in peaceful way.

Luke Van den Brande in his report marked that both sides had represented opposite positions concerning this conflict. That is why it was impossible to get the truth during the trip. Having listened to this report, the PACE in its final resolution, except for accusations of Moscow and Tbilisi, voted for the conducting of independent international investigation. So we can conclude that this discussion was not the last and the theme of Russian-Georgian war will come into question in the session hall of the PACE.

Nobody knows at the moment what consequences of the armed conflict for Georgian and Russian delegations will be. On the eve of the session, on September, 12, the group of 24 deputies brought in the query to the assembly, in which it suggested to deprive Russian delegation of part of plenary powers, in particular the voting right. Among those who signed this document, there were Ukrainian members of the parliament: Olga Gerasymyuk and Grygoriy Omelchenko. However the PACE did not support this decision, declaring that a dialog is necessary for the working out of the conflict. So the answer of the PACE to the regular war in Caucasus appeared to be very restrained. Neither Russia nor Georgia has been punished for the armed conflict so far, and, probably, the international investigation will be protracted, and its conclusions will depend on the political and economic situation in Europe.

Theme number two at the session became the question of union of Cyprus. The president of the republic Dimitris Christofias came forward before the members of the parliament. In resolution № 1628 it is marked that now it is the most favorable situation for the reunion of Cyprus, which should be used.

Concluding plenary discussions one can mark that territorial conflicts become more ponderable on the continent. The Council of Europe, which is called to be the guarantor of maintenance of peace and democratic values, obviously, in the nearest future will search more influential levers of “education” of countries-violators, rather than acceptance of optional to implementation resolutions and recommendations. Otherwise this organization will repeat the fate of the League of Nations, which failed to maintain peace and stability at the end of 1930. The answer of the Council of Europe to the modern calls will be defined after the agenda of the winter session, which is being actively made presently.

Tetyana PASOVA