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So, what happened in Astana?

By Messenger Staff
Monday, December 6
The outcomes of the Astana OSCE Summit still remain the most important issue for the Georgian media. Officially the results of the Astana Summit were successful for Georgia and official media keeps repeating this assessment. However, success is generally a comparative notion, very much dependent on the final targets. Georgia would have been successful if Russia had not achieved its goals. So if we pose the question how far did Georgia advance towards fulfilling its targets, the answer will be very disappointing indeed: it made no progress at all.

Georgia tried desperately to introduce in the OSCE summit resolution, the formula “conflict resolutions in Georgia” and “Georgia’s territorial integrity.” Meanwhile the Russian side did its utmost to ensure that such formulas did not appear in any documents. Moscow was blackmailing the organisers that if such phrases appeared, it would refuse to sign any such document. The Kremlin’s position it that there are no conflicts on Georgian territory; there are two independent states Abkhazia and South Ossetia which are no longer part of the Georgian state.

Commenting on the event, the Russians highlighted that they achieved their goal since the summit resolution does not mention Georgia’s territorial integrity and there is no indication of any commitment by the organisation concerning the withdrawal of Russian forces from the territories of these puppet entities. Therefore Moscow considers itself victorious. But Russia has paid dearly for this victory. Only at the Astana Summit have such statements in favour of Moscow been made; the decision was only taken because the OSCE final resolution needed consensus and Russia blackmailed the organisers that it would not sign any wording other than one which suited the Kremlin. If it had been just a proper vote, Russia would have been forced to stay alone.

The consensus principle is simultaneously the strength as well as weakness of the OSCE. This same principle made it impossible for the organisation to adopt the action plan, with it receiving just a symbolic resolution/declaration. This document only states by way of an announcement that conflicts in the region should be solved peacefully respecting the rules of international justice, as observed in the UN Charter as well as the Helsinki Act. The conflicts in Prednestrovye and Karabakh were also touched upon during the summit; no kind of viable breakthrough was made in either as none of the sides involved were prepared to make any concessions. While committed to the peaceful resolution of those conflicts the participating sides could not achieve any concessions from the Russian side, in particular, in regards of Georgia. Moscow stubbornly demands recognition of the “new reality” as a result of the war. In addition it arrogantly insists that it has no conflict with Georgia whatsoever, that Georgia was fighting with its own territories that eventually managed to defeat Georgia militarily and gain “independence”.

In its reports on the Astana Summit Georgian official media mentioned frequently and with pride that Russian President Medvedev was forced to leave Astana before the scheduled time. Of course many leaders in Astana openly and directly expressed their negative attitude towards Russia’s moves against Georgia. Also, Moscow was unable to convince the participants to adopt its version of new European Security Architecture. The countries’ leaders were not convinced by the Russian version of non-use of force which was recommended for every country, except Russia because according to the Kremlin’s position Russia’s moves are always justified (?) as everywhere around the world Russia was, is and will be the peacekeeper (?). Medvedev was upset when the OSCE did not accept his ridiculous hypocrisy and did not support his position. Meanwhile Moscow is not planning to fulfill its commitments of August 12, 2008 and is not planning to allow OSCE observer missions in any of those territories.

So to sum up, today, no force in the world is able to make Russia behave in a civilised manner; this is not new but reality as Russia recently carried out so called “peacekeeping aggression” and it does not care whether its conduct is criticised and not supported.

Meanwhile the Georgian authorities are still optimistic and try to persuade their public that eventually Moscow will retreat and withdraw from the country. The next OSCE summit will be held in Lithuania, Vilnius on December 6-7 2011. Of course one year is no time in history but here in Georgia there always lives hope: who knows…