Genfer Gespräche - Geneva Talks - seit 15.10.2008 >>

Außenminister Vashadze: Moskau versucht die Genfer Gespräche zu unterminieren - 24.06.2010, Civil Georgia
Moscow tries to undermine Geneva talks using its “puppets” in Sokhumi, Grigol Vashadze, the Georgian foreign minister, said on June 24.
In an English-language statement released on June 23, the Abkhaz leader’s senior aide said Sokhumi was “temporarily withdrawing" from Geneva talks, as negotiations launched after the August war "have not produced tangible progress."
“It is an outstanding example that Russia does not need peace, stability and security in South Caucasus and Georgia. The so called government of Abkhazia is simply a puppet in the hands of Moscow,” the Georgian Foreign Minister told journalists.
“The international community will have to exert pressure on Russia to make it – not Abkhazia but Russia – return to Geneva talks and to stop attempts of destruction of this only existing format of peace talks,” Vashadze said.
The next, twelfth round of Geneva talks, launched after the August war, is scheduled for July 27.
Sokhumi said in the statement, which mainly is addressed to co-mediators of Geneva talks – EU, OSCE and UN, that it would return to Geneva talks after co-mediators present a document “that includes propositions from all of the parties and enables open discussion and debate." The statement does not give specifics, but says that “the co-moderators have consistently failed to facilitate the talks in a constructive and impartial manner.”

Bagapsh: Suchumi zieht sich "vorübergehend" aus den Genfer Gespräche zurück - 24.06.2010, Civil Georgia
Sokhumi is "temporarily withdrawing" from Geneva talks, as negotiations launched after the August war "have not produced tangible progress," Nadir Bitiev, a senior aide to Abkhaz leader, Sergey Bagapsh, said in an English-language statement released on Wednesday evening.
Bitiev, who is among the group of Abkhaz negotiators at the Geneva talks, said that Sokhumi had already "informed the Office of the Secretariat overseeing the five-party talks" about its decision.
“My government believes the concept of the Geneva talks is sound, and we want to be active participants in a series of discussions which are productive. We regret having to make this decision at this time. We have done so because the co-moderators have consistently failed to facilitate the talks in a constructive and impartial manner," Bitiev's statement reads.
He also said that the Abkhaz side would "return to the proceedings when the co-moderators present a concrete document that includes propositions from all of the parties and enables open discussion and debate."
"We hope that such a document will be forthcoming in a reasonable timeframe," he said.
The most recent, eleventh round of Geneva talks, with participation of negotiators from Georgia, Russia, United States, as well as from Sokhumi and Tskhinvali, was held on June 8 and the only concrete agreement reached during that meeting was about the date of the next round of talks - on July 27.
Declaration, or a treaty on non-use of force is a key point of contention. Moscow insists on Tbilisi to sign this commitment, along with Sokhumi and Tskhinvali. Russia says it can not be part of this declaration as it does not consider itself as a party into conflict. Tbilisi says that although it has already committed itself not to use force under the August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement, it is ready to sign an additional, separate non-use of force treaty, but on the condition if Russia is also part of it. Georgia also wants the new treaty to also reflect the commitments Russia has already undertaken under the six-point agreement, envisaging withdrawal of Russian forces to pre-August war positions.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry has said for number of times, including after the recent round of talks, that despite Russia's "unconstructive" position, Geneva talks were "a valuable forum" and expressed readiness "to continue full and constructive engagement in the talks with an aim of discussing all outstanding issues, including the most sensitive and controversial ones."

11. RUNDE DER GENFER GESPRÄCHE - 11. ROUND OF GENEVA TALKS
Angespannte Gespräche in der elften Runde der Genfer Gespräche - 09.06.2010, Civil Georgia
... The Georgian Foreign Ministry said that "despite the unconstructiveness of some participants, Geneva Discussions represent a valuable forum" and expressed readiness "to continue full and constructive engagement in the talks with an aim of discussing all outstanding issues, including the most sensitive and controversial ones." ...
Eleventh round of Geneva talks on June 8 was marked with major differences among the participants prompting negotiators from Sokhumi and Tskhinvali to describe the EU, OSCE and UN-mediated talks as "deadlocked" and "in crisis."
Like the previous rounds of talks, launched after the August, 2008 war, the eleventh one was also held in two working groups. Participants from Georgia, Russia and the United States, as well as from breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia are discussing security-related issues in the first working groups and humanitarian issues, including related with displaced persons, - in the second working group.
Non-use of force treaty, or declaration is among the most contentious issues discussed in the first working group, triggering most of the differences.
Walkout
Tough discussions took place in the second working group as well during the eleventh round of talks with the Abkhaz and South Ossetian sides walking out from the meeting, citing that thier "opinions are ignored".
In particular, the second working group was discussing a draft document known as "Agreed Undertakings", which deals with issues such rehabilitation of housing and damaged facilities; supply of water and other utilities; legal situation of refugees and internally displaced persons and facilitation of thier voluntary, safe and dignified return; as well as property issues. The latter issue was in the focus of discussion on June 8. In an apparent reference to the Abkhaz and South Ossetian participant's walk-out, co-mediators said in a joint statement after the talks that discussion in the second working group were held "without full participation at the end of the session."
"Basic differences remain and the Co-Chairs call upon all the participants to stay engaged in this ongoing work in a constructive manner," co-mediators, Bolat Nurgaliyev, a special envoy of the Kazakh OSCE chairmanship, Antti Turunen of the UN and Pierre Morel of the EU, said in the joint statement.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement released late on June 8 that "due to the unconstructive position of the Russian Federation and its proxy regimes, participants were unable to finalize first reading of the 'Agreed Undertakings'."
"It is especially unfortunate that such a demarche happened on the issues, which are of direct relevance to the well-being and future of the victims of ethnic cleansing," the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.
Non-Use of Force
First provision of the six-point ceasefire agreement of August 12, 2008, mediated by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in capacity of EU presidency, envisages non-use of force commitment. The same was further reiterated in a follow-up agreement of September 8, 2008. Russia, however, says its not enough and and Moscow has been pushing for a long time already for a separate non-use of force treaties between Tbilisi and Sokhumi and Tbilisi and Tskhinvali. The most recent proposal by Russia involves "unilateral declarations" signed separately by Tbilisi, Sokhumi and Tskhinvali on non-use of force pledges. Russia itself refuses to sign such document, as it does not consider itself party into the conflict.
"Our logic really is that they [August 12 and September 8 agreements] are not enough. We can't constantly refer to these agreements as a guarantee of peaceful, happy life in the region," Grigory Karasin, deputy foreign minister, who leads the Russian delegation at Geneva talks, said at a news conference after the June 8 meeting.
Georgia, whose position is backed with the U.S., says that, unlike Russia, it is fully in line with six-point ceasefire agreement, which also includes non-use of force pledge. The six-point agreement also says that the Russian armed forces should withdraw "on the line, preceding the start of hostilities" in August, 2008.
"Unfortunately, on this issue no consensus is yet possible due to the highly unconstructive position of the Russian Federation and its proxy regimes," the Georgian Foreign Ministry said in the statement.
It also said that Karasin's remarks "once again demonstrate that Russia is trying to avoid its international legal obligations vis-a-vis Georgia and whole international community."
The Georgian senior officials have stated for number of times that it was ready to sign an additional, separate non-use of force treaty, but on the condition if Russia is part of it. Georgia also wants the new treaty to also reflect the commitments Russia has already undertaken under the six-point agreement.
The U.S. delegation in Geneva talks, led by Philip Gordon, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, shares this position.
"We note that the August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement between President Saakashvili of Georgia and President Medvedev of the Russian Federation, mediated by President Sarkozy of France, already establishes the sides’ commitment to the non-use of force," the U.S. delegation said in a statement after the talks.
"Full implementation of that agreement – which we still await from the Russian Federation – would render an additional agreement unnecessary. The United States believes another non-use of force agreement among the relevant parties, including the Russian Federation, could improve the situation on the ground provided it meets the concerns of all parties, includes meaningful implementation measures, and avoids unnecessary politicization of the status issue," the U.S. delegation said. "We hope that future rounds of the Geneva Discussions will focus on completing the implementation of the August 12 commitments, including the provision of unfettered access for humanitarian assistance, to which the Russian Federation committed in the August 12 ceasefire agreement."
Other Issues
Another issue discussed in the security working group was recent developments in Gali district involving killing of two Abkhaz local officials followed by setting fire on several houses of local ethnic Georgians.
"In response to these recent incidents, the participants agreed to convene early next week a meeting of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in Gali. The Co-Chairs also recalled that joint visits to the sites of incidents are part of the mechanisms and could be used on this occasion," co-mediators said in the joint statement
During the talks the Georgian side called for the release of those Georgians, which were detained since the August war and are still held in detention in Tskhinvali. By late March 2010, all Ossetians, who were detained by the Georgian police after the August war, had been released.
"This issue will continue to be addressed at the Geneva discussions until all detained persons are reunited with their families," the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.
Participants from Tskhinvali raised during the talks the issue of resumption of gas supply to the Akhalgori district in breakaway South Ossetia. Georgia shut down gas supply to the district, which was under its control before the August war, as it does not want to provide gas that could be used by the Russian troops stationed in the region.
"Georgia wants us to provide guarantees that the supplied gas will not be used by the Russian troops. We have stated in a categorical form that this is ruled out," Boris Chochiev, participant of talks from breakaway South Ossetia said in remarks posted on a website of breakaway region's authorities.
He also said that because of Georgia and the United States the Geneva talks were "deadlocked", as without having an agreement on the key issue - non-use of force pledge - no other problems, related with security and humanitarian issues, would be resolved.
Echoing the South Ossetian representative's remarks, Vyacheslav Chirikba, the Abkhaz leader's special envoy, told Russia's Interfax news agency after the talks that the Geneva process was "in crisis" as the positions of the sides were "too far from each other".
The Georgian Foreign Ministry said that "despite the unconstructiveness of some participants, Geneva Discussions represent a valuable forum" and expressed readiness "to continue full and constructive engagement in the talks with an aim of discussing all outstanding issues, including the most sensitive and controversial ones."
The participants agreed to hold the next round of talks on July 27.
Elfte Runde der Genfer Gespräche: Georgien will int. Sicherheitsmechanismen einschließlich int. Polizeikräfte und int. Friedenstruppen in den besetzten Gebieten zur Sprache bringen - 08.06.2010, Civil Georgia
Georgia protests security raids that killed 3 in separatist province of Abkhazia
The Canadian Press - ‎08.06.2010‎
TBILISI, Ga. — The Georgian government has accused separatist authorities in the breakaway province of Abkhazia of conducting a security sweep that killed ...
As a result of punitive actions in Abkhazia three people were killed
Experts' club - ‎09.06.2010‎
The Georgian authorities have expressed outrage at the tragic events in the Gali district of Abkhazia. This was said in the statement of the State Minister ...
08/06/2010Russians, Georgians deplore attack in rebel Abkhazia region
Expatica Switzerland - ‎08.06.2010‎
Senior officials from Russia and Georgia meeting in Geneva on Tuesday deplored an attack in Georgia's rebel region of Abkhazia which killed an Abkhaz border ...

10. RUNDE DER GENFER GESPRÄCHE - 10. ROUND OF GENEVA TALKS
Stillstand zwischen Russland und Georgien - 31.03.10, dw-world
Ergebnislos ist nun auch die zehnte Gesprächsrunde zwischen Russland und Georgien nach dem Krieg 2008 beendet worden. Kaukasus-Expertin Iris Kempe bewertet im Gespräch mit DW-WORLD.DE die Chancen der Konfliktregelung. ...
 
Pierre Morel, EU-Sondergesandter und Ko-Mediator der int. Gesprächen in Genf, veröffentlicht einen Artikel in Civil.Ge zum Stand der "Genfer Gespräche"
Genfer Gespräche, ein Jahr später: Welcher Frieden für Georgien? - 15.10.2009, Civil Georgia
- ein regulärer Dialog wurde zu allen wichtigen Fragen nach dem Konflikt aufgebaut trotz der unüberbrückbaren Differenzen bezüglich der Anerkennung Südossetiens und Abchasiens durch Russland
- zwei Arbeitsgruppen: Sicherheit und Stabilität sowie Vertriebene und Flüchtlinge
- Aufbau des "gemeinsamen Mechanismus zur Verhinderung von Zwischenfällen" für Südossetien und Abchasien
- Gespräche gehen nun
über in eine zweite Phase mit dem Ziel eines höher entwickelten regionalen Sicherheitssystems und humanitären Schutzsystems; Gespräche zu einem Abkommen "Nichtanwendung von Gewalt" im Gange
- die nicht vollständig umgesetzten Abmachungen des Sechs-Punkte-Plans bestehen, werden aber in den Gruppen im Detail von allen Parteien angesprochen
- der klare Gebrauch der Verfahren des Dialogs ist
die beste Art, friedliche Bedingungen wieder aufzubauen
- der Tagliavini Report dient als Erinnerung an die Folgen, wenn die Instrumente des Dialogs zusammenbrechen und die Provokationen anwachsen

Civil.Ge publishes an article by Pierre Morel, EU special representative for the crisis in Georgia and co-chair of Geneva discussions, launched a year ago following the August war.
On 15 October 2008, in accordance with the 12 August ceasefire agreement brokered by the French presidency of the EU that had ended the five-day war in Georgia, “international discussions” were launched in the Palais des Nations in Geneva. On the eve of this event, the highest representatives of the UN, OSCE and EU gathered in Geneva in order to reaffirm the full commitment of their respective institutions to act as Co-chairs of these discussions.
A framework was formally adopted during this first session that was attended by Georgia, Russia and the United States. This allowed for the formation of two working groups: one dealing with security and stability and the other charged with questions related to displaced persons and refugees. Talks within these working groups began also on 15 October and included Abkhaz and South Ossetian participants.
Over the course of the subsequent year, seven sessions of the Geneva discussions have taken place.  But where are we now?
A regular dialogue has been established on all important post-conflict issues despite irreconcilable differences regarding the Russian recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia that took place on 26 August – two weeks after the end of hostilities.
The work of the two groups has evolved despite these persistent disagreements – disagreements that led ultimately to the very regrettable closure of the OSCE’s mission in Georgia (22 December 2008) as well as of the UN Mission’s activities (15 June 2009).
The main concrete result of the Geneva Discussions has been – until now – the 18 February 2009 decision to put in place a double “Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism” that allows for regular meetings in the respective Abkhaz and South Ossetian theatres between all the local actors responsible for security issues and the maintenance of peace and security.  This framework is complemented by the establishment of a ‘hotline’ creating a permanent channel of communication between all parties. The two mechanisms have recently completed their fifth and sixth rounds. The exchanges have been sometimes difficult but they have, nevertheless, proven to act as a useful forum with all sides discovering their own interests in the ongoing discussions.
Concerning humanitarian issues, the needs remain huge. Freedom of access for aid, as established by international law, remains the main priority.  It is of great regret to me that it has as yet not been possible to reach an accord on the granting of simultaneous double access – both from the North and South – to deliver humanitarian assistance to South Ossetia. A coherent action plan is currently being developed to be implemented from this autumn on.
The repeated field visits of the three Co-Chairs, in particular those to Sukhumi and Tskhinvali, have led to a constant re-evaluation of possible ways to increase overall security and improve the humanitarian situation.
This concrete framework of dialogue, of facilitation and of fastest possible return to a normal life is certainly both fragile and insufficient. However, it is a process that is simultaneously in place, recognised and used by all participating parties. Given the high emotions wrought by last year’s war, that is no small achievement.
The Geneva discussions are now entering a second phase, whose purpose is to attain a more developed security regime and humanitarian protection framework, designed to increase regional security.  This is the clear goal of the ongoing discussions regarding the ‘basic elements for a framework agreement on the non-use of force” that will be examined during the 8th Session of the Geneva Discussions on 11 November 2009.   
Once stable security and humanitarian arrangements have been established, more sensitive subjects will necessarily have to be addressed: how to manage more direct relations between former belligerents despite a fundamental discord that will not easily be erased; how to proceed with the complex question surrounding the legal status of individuals in the various entities; how to facilitate of the necessary contacts to enable a better daily life? Contemporary history offers numerous examples of pragmatic ways forward on all these issues that have, in time, contributed to significant breakthroughs, even if each international situation remains specific onto itself.  
A political process has been launched. A method has been defined and accepted with the contribution of all sides; step by step, from the bottom up, item after item. Several lessons have already been learned.
Geneva is today the only international forum in which all parties remain engaged. 
A permanent link must be maintained between the parties. This is the major concern of the Co-Chairmanship, but the continued commitment of all parties concerned remains indispensable. If confidence has not yet been re-established between the former warring parties, each one of them has nonetheless – and without exception – contributed to the advancement of our common work in Geneva and has, thereby, taken a first step towards the establishment of rational dialogue and, through that, of lasting security.
The agreements of 12 August and 8 September have not been entirely fulfilled. Several disquieting developments require vigilance: a military build-up, warnings and threats, as well as constant and unjustifiable obstacles barring humanitarian assistance.  At the same time, however, these challenges are discussed in detail among all the parties.   
The clear use of the procedures of dialogue, of consultation mechanisms, as well as security measures serve as the best way to reconstruct peaceful conditions.  The Tagliavini Report serves as a reminder of the consequences when these tools break down and provocations increase, leading to the conflict of last August – a sequence of events that could have been prevented.
While they have not disappeared completely, incidents on-the-ground have happily diminished, in particular thanks to the remarkable efficiency of the European Union Monitoring Mission. At the same time, it remains necessary to increase preventive actions in order to resolve old problems and to meet the expectations of the population.   
Passions are still alive and this must be taken into consideration.  Nothing can be imposed.  But life is stronger and the economic crisis has served as a reminder for the necessity of compromise. Only focused work, prepared with patience and determination, can allow the objective need of going forward to emerge.
One year after the war, it is time to take a step back. Throughout its rich and long history, the South Caucasus has dealt with many trials: it remains a sensitive region that plays an important role in the development of relations between civilisations and continents.  In particular, its evolution exerts a direct influence on the entire European continent.  In Geneva, as with the other ongoing negotiations, no effort should be spared in order to, once again, take the region back to its natural role as a place for crossings and exchanges.


1. RUNDE DER GENFER GESPRÄCHE - 1. ROUND OF GENEVA TALKS
Talks Start in Geneva - 15.10.2009, Civil Georgia
Officials from Georgia, Russia and the United States have started “consultations” in Geneva on October 15, co-hosted by the UN, EU and OSCE.
The talks will start with, what diplomats call, “a plenary session” which will probably be followed by an informal meeting with the participation of South Ossetian and Abkhaz representatives.
Reuters reported that organizers threw a news blackout around the talks and prevented photographers from taking photos of the delegations as they entered the UN building in Geneva.
“The talks are private and fairly complex. It is a decision of all of the parties,” a U.N. spokeswoman told reporters.
A U.S. State Department spokesman said on October 14 that the Abkhaz and South Ossetians “may be present in Geneva and may take part in informal discussions outside the plenary [session].”
“The U.S. does not plan to meet separately with them,” Sean McCormack added.
He said that Daniel Fried, the assistant secretary of state, would represent the U.S. at the talks. Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin will head the Russian delegation, while Deputy Foreign Ministers Giga Bokeria and Grigol Vashadze will represent Georgia.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who represents the EU presidency, indicated after meeting with OSCE chairmanship, Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Geneva on October 14 that the exact format of the talks was still open.
“We will leave those questions for tomorrow,” AFP quoted Kouchner as telling reporters after being asked about who exactly would participate in the Geneva talks. “We will see tomorrow how the various players react.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier issued a statement outlining its position on the matter: “Our position is clear and unchanged – without the participation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia it is impossible to work out any agreements to ensure their security. We will firmly proceed from this standpoint.”
Georgian officials insist that if the secessionists are to be represented at the talks, then so too should, what Tbilisi calls, the legitimate Abkhaz government, and the Tbilisi-backed provisional administration of South Ossetia. Dimitri Sanakoev, head of the provisional administration, and Malkhaz Akishbaia, head of the Abkhaz government-in-exile, are also in Geneva as part of the Georgian delegation.
Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, said at a news conference after meeting with the French and Finnish foreign ministers, that the “international discussions” are “a beginning” and “should not be seen as the end.”
“I am encouraged by the general consensus among the parties to resolve this issue through dialogue,” he said. “It may take time, so we need to have some patience on addressing this issue. In a short time we need to try our best efforts among the parties concerned to restore confidence so that we can establish a good conflict resolution process in the end.”
The UN secretary-general said the parties “should not be too impatient or in a hurry to have a so-called ‘quick fix’ resolution.” He said “practical issues” should be addressed at the first stage of the talks.
He said that the accord reached by the French and Russian presidents "has given us a good framework.”
“It may be very difficult at the first initial stage, but as we progress through this expert, envoy level consultation, I am sure that we will be able to level up this dialogue at a ministerial and higher level. We need to be patient, even though it may take time,” he added.
U.S. State Department spokesman McCormack, meanwhile, said there were still “open questions” in terms of the Russian military presence in some areas, namely Akhalgori and upper Kodori Gorge, and “these are going to be issues that are taken up in Geneva.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry, however, sees the talks as providing an opportunity to raise other issues. In a statement released on October 14, it outlined its priorities.
“We believe that these discussions should proceed dynamically and should be finalised by concrete agreements providing reliable guarantees for the security of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” it said.
“The signing of an agreement on the non-use of force between Georgia and Abkhazia and Georgia and South Ossetia is a cornerstone of these [guarantees],” it continues. “Before these agreements go into force, Georgia should strictly fulfill its non-use of force commitment of which the European Union is a guarantor. In this regard, agreement on the concrete parameters of security in the security zones adjacent to Abkhazia and South Ossetia is required.”
“It's reasonable to develop a series of measures to prevent a recurrence of the rampant Georgian militarization that led the current authorities to attack South Ossetia. A ban on the supply of heavy and offensive weapons to the Georgian government would be one obvious important measure.”

New Agreement in Force - 08.09.2009, Civil Georgia
• Russian troops will leave areas outside Abkhazia, S.Ossetia within a month;
• At least 200 EU monitors will be deployed in those areas;
• OSCE monitors will be able to return to Tskhinvali;
• UN observers will remain in Abkhazia;
• Int. discussions to start on October 15;
• Saakashvili has pledged not to use force;
The French and Russian presidents agreed after four hours of talks in Moscow on September 8 that Russia would pull out its troops from Georgian territories outside Abkhazia and South Ossetia within a month.
Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, said at a joint news conference with his French counterpart that “additional measures [had been agreed] to implement the August 12, 2008” six-point ceasefire plan.
He read out the agreed text at the joint news conference.
“The withdrawal of all Russian peacekeeping forces from five checkpoints on a line from Poti to Senaki within a maximum of seven days, assuming that legally binding documents guaranteeing the non-use of force against Abkhazia are signed on September 8, 2008.”
“The full withdrawal of Russian peacekeeping forces from the zones adjacent to South Ossetia and Abkhazia to pre-conflict lines. This process of withdrawal will be carried out within 10 days after the international mechanism is in place, no later than October 1, 2008 in the zones, involving no less than 200 EU observers, assuming there are legally binding documents guaranteeing the non-use of forces against Abkhazia and South Ossetia.”
Here Medvedev noted that the Russian side had “already received such documents.” President Sarkozy also said during the press conference that he had handed over to the Russian president a letter from President Saakashvili in which Georgia undertook a commitment not to use force.
Other provisions of the agreement, as read out by Medvedev at the news conference, are:
“UN monitors in Georgia will continue to carry out their mandate in the area of their responsibility in accordance with the number and scheme of dislocation, as it was before August 7, 2008 without prejudice to possible corrections in future through a decision of the UN Security Council.”
UN observers had been monitoring the 1994 Moscow ceasefire agreement signed by the Abkhaz and Georgian sides in the Abkhaz conflict zone, including in Kodori Gorge. The agreement, however, has been annulled by Tbilisi, but the September 8 agreement creates guarantees that the UN Observer Mission in Georgia will continue its usual operations on both sides of the Abkhaz administrative border.
In respect of OSCE monitors, the agreement reads:
“The OSCE monitors will continue to carry out their mandate in the area of their responsibility in accordance with the number and scheme of dislocation, as it was before August 7, 2008 without prejudice to possible corrections in future through a decision of the OSCE Permanent Council.”
It means that unarmed OSCE monitors will be able to return to their office in Tskhinvali and continue monitoring the 15-km radius around Tskhinvali, as they did before hostilities erupted.
The September 8 agreement also reads:
“It is necessary to accelerate preparations for the deployment of additional monitors in the zones adjacent to South Ossetia and Abkhazia to a level high enough to replace Russian peacekeeping forces before October 1, 2008; in effect, at least 200 monitors from the European Union.”
“The European Union, as a guarantor of the principle of the non-use of force, is actively working on the deployment of an observation mission in addition to the already existing observation mechanisms.”
“International discussions as envisaged in point six of the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan signed on August 12, 2008, will begin on October 15, 2008, in Geneva.”
Medvedev said that preparatory work for these discussions would begin in September.
He specified that according to the agreement these international discussions would be related to the following issues:
• Stability and security in the region;
• Return of refugees based on the internationally recognized principles and practice of post-conflict settlement;
• Other issues for discussion should be mutually agreed between the sides.
“The agreement comes into force immediately, bearing that Russia has received guarantees from the EU, from France as the presidency of European Union, about the non-use of force by the Georgian side,” Medvedev said.
During the press conference, Medvedev also made it clear that Russia’s decision to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia’s independence was “final and irreversible.”
“I hope that the decision that was taken will be understood by more countries and other countries will also follow that example, countries which respect human rights and democratic aspirations of other peoples. I hope the number of those countries will grow,” Medvedev said.
He also added that there already was an understanding that the dialogue with Tskhinvali and Sokhumi was only possible as “with entities of the international law.”
Sarkozy said at the news conference that the major disagreement remains about the Russia’s unilateral decision to recognize the two breakaway regions.
“Not everything has been resolved today, but what has been agreed today is considerable and significant,” Sarkozy said.
“Will of the EU is to protect interests of peace,” he added.
After talks in Moscow, Sarkozy, accompanied by President of European Commission José Manuel Barroso and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, left for Tbilisi to hold talks with President Saakashvili.

Überblick zu Artikeln >>

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Russia Walks Out of Geneva Talks
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Parties Hail ‘Constructive Talks’ in Geneva - November
Geneva Talks Suspended - October

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Tbilisi Says Ready to Take Part in Geneva Talks 
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Talks Start in Geneva 
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Tskhinvali Names Delegation for Geneva Talks
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Moscow Wants Sokhumi, Tskhinvali to Participate in Geneva Talks
Sarkozy: Geneva Talks should be All-Inclusive
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Überblick zur Ausgangslage vor den Gesprächen >>

New Agreement in Force
Medvedev-Sarkozy plan

Six-Point Ceasefire Plan - August 12, Moscow
1. No resort to force;
2. A definitive halt to hostilities;
3. Provision of free access for humanitarian assistance;
4. Georgian military forces must withdraw to the places they are usually stationed;
5. the Russian armed forces will be pulled back on the line, preceding the start of hostilities. While awaiting an international mechanism, Russian peacekeeping forces will implement additional security measures;
6. Opening of international discussions on security and stability modalities in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.