#13 - JRL 2009-182 - JRL Home

EU Report on Caucasus War Has Ambiguities - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. Sept 30 (Interfax) - The Russian Foreign Ministry welcomes the European Union commission's conclusion that it was Georgia that unleashed the aggression against South Ossetia in August 2008, but finds some of the wordings ambiguous.

"It is important that the international community does not miss again the chance to look deep into the conclusions, laid down in the European Union's commission," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary after the release of the Heidi Tagliavini commission's report.

"We understand, some of the blurred and ambiguous wordings reflect politicized approaches to the August events in 2008 and their aftermath, still maintained in countries of the European Union," the Foreign Ministry said.

"But this cannot overshadow the main conclusion about Tbilisi's responsibility for the aggression unleashed against peaceful South Ossetia and about Georgia's utterly illegitimate actions," it said.

Importantly, the report directly names the states, which were arming and training the Georgian armed forces, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"But serious queries arise about the part in the report on the allegedly disproportionate use of force by the Russian side. Although, arguments can be found in the report, which show that these assertions are far-fetched. Suffice to mention the conclusion by Georgian professor of law, Luchterhandt, a member of the Tagliavini commission and an independent expert, who said that Russia can justify its military operation against Georgia by the right to self-defense (Article 51 of the U Charter) and by the right to collective self-defense with South Ossetia against an armed aggression from Georgia," the ministry said.

"Giving due respect to the report's transparency and to its simultaneous submission to most of the parties concerned, we hope that the authors will find a proper formula for its transfer to representatives of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the more so since they are equally participating in the Geneva discussions on the Transcaucasus and are open to international contacts," the ministry said.

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