Kremlin Opposes Entry of International Organizations in Occupied Areas
14 April, 2011
Kremlin Opposes Entry of International Organizations in Occupied Areas

‘Getting inside de facto republic is utopia’

“Entry of monitors from the European Union and other international organizations in Abkhazia and South Ossetia is practically unachievable,” expert Giorgi Volski states. However, the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia still requests permission to enter the occupied territories.
This information came from the former head of the EU Monitoring Mission Hans Iorg Haber when he was summarizing the results of the Mission work in Georgia. He said that despite non- admittance of his

monitors in Apkhazeti and so called South Ossetia, the mission still effectively implements its tasks. He does not expect that anything in this regard would change in the nearest future. He also touched upon the issue of Georgian-Russian relations, noting that they are not satisfactory.
Hans Iorg Haber has left the position of the EU Monitoring Mission Head to take up a new assignment in Brussels as a Head of Civil Operations at the EU Commission. On 29 April he is going to leave Georgia.
Georgian experts have nearly unanimous point of view regarding the increased activity of international organizations. They believe that entry of international organizations in Apkhazeti and Shida Kartli could boost peace-building efforts in these occupied areas.
Giorgi Volski: It is impossible today. But the issue carries an immense significance. The Talk about the need in the activities of international organizations in the occupied areas first started at OSCE. The US representative said during the Poland meeting prior to the OSCE Astana Summit, that the United States and the EU will take every step to make resumption of the OSCE work in the Tskhinvali region possible. Yet, at that time OSCE failed to gain access to the areas. As for the EU, attempts to have its representatives pass the administrative borders were made as early as the end of the August war. While the war was stopped the moment Medvedev-Sarkozy agreement was clinched, the entry problem proved to be much more complicated to solve both then and now. Basically, neither Russia, nor the de facto rulers want to see international organizations inside their kitchen. In contract, common Abkhazians and Ossetians who have to bear with Russian boots would welcome such organizations. Russia however blocks any of such initiatives.
The expert also notes that there was a room to save the UN Mission in Apkhazeti but the Georgian Authorities disabled the function of the Mission. Volski concludes that while Russia hates to see international monitors in the occupied areas, the Georgian Authorities cannot but help fuel the discord on the matter.
“The Secretary General was proposing to re-name the UN Mission into Mission for Stabilization. In this way, the name would not have featured either Georgia or Abkhazia thus avoiding frustration of any side. The Georgian Authorities categorically rejected the proposal saying through Lomaia that they did want to overshadow the country and retain the Mission with this new name. This intransient position led to ejection of the UN from Apkhazeti,” – the expert explains .
Volski adds that today there is no negotiation going on to gain access for the EU, UN or OSCE into the occupied areas.
Some Georgian experts see the possibility of international monitors entering the de facto republics as utopia. They think this topic will be repeatedly appearing on the agenda only to face permanent blackout in the coming years. However dearly Abkhazians and Ossetians might want the monitors, Russia which ousted OSCE and UN from the areas it occupied would not need an outside eye, such as that of the EU.

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