international involving in Russian and Georgian dilemma - Political issues

 International Involvement
he Georgian leadership has consistently called for greater regional and
international participation in the search for a resolution to the conflicts.
In an attempt to weaken Russian influence in the Caucasus, Tbilisi has
sought to use international fora such as the United Nations (UN) and OSCE
in order to express its views and gain support. Saakashvili reiterated his
commitment to a peaceful resolution of Georgia’s unresolved separatist
disputes in a speech at the UN General Assembly in September 2004,
stating that “no democracy can go to war against its own people.”
Proposing a new three-stage program designed to facilitate their
settlement, he underlined his determination to resolve these conflicts,
observing that such “black holes” are “incompatible with progress,
development and lasting stability” as they “breed crime, drug trafficking,
arms trading and… terrorism.”19 The Georgian president also called for
increased co-operation between Georgia and Russia and an end to double
standards, an oblique reference to Russian support for separatist groups in
The UN already plays a key mediating role in the Abkhazian conflict
with the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG), 

established to oversee the cease-fire. In addition, the Secretary-General’s
“Group of Friends” (France, Germany, Russia, UK and US) is leading
efforts to find a resolution within the framework of the so-called Geneva
process. However, speaking during a General Assembly summit meeting in
September 2005, Saakashvili called on the international organization to do
more than merely talk about solutions, declaring that it “must act to end the
lawless and immoral annexation” of Abkhazia.21
Georgian-Russian relations were the focus of a Georgian-led debate
at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in October
2004, when Nino Burjanadze, Georgia’s parliamentary chairperson, once
again accused Russia of double standards,

 supporting separatist groups in
Georgia while suppressing them in Chechnya. Georgian attempts to attract
international attention to its dispute with Russia appeared to have been
successful, when on 14 October the European Parliament adopted a
resolution “deploring the recent statements of the Russian authorities about
the use of pre-emptive strikes in the South Caucasus” and calling on the Russian leadership to help secure stability in Georgia.22 Saakashvili made
further use of PACE in January 2005 to accuse Russia of hampering efforts
to resolve the protracted regional dispute. He also outlined a new peace
plan for South Ossetia (which included guaranteed language rights, and
control over education, policing and social policies), 

offering the region
constitutional guarantees of broad autonomy within a federal Georgia, an
offer rejected by Tskhinvali on the basis that it is already “independent.”
In addition to international and regional organizations, Georgia has
also sought to engage both the EU and US. During his visit to the country in
May 2005, US President George W. Bush called for Georgia’s sovereignty
and territorial integrity to be respected and lent his support to Saakashvili’s
plans for South Ossetia and Abkhazia to become autonomous and selfgoverning, but not independent. In addition, one of the reported aims of a
visit by Defense Minister Okruashvili to Washington in June 2005 was to
enlist US assistance in resolving Georgia’s secessionist conflicts and the
topic was also on the agenda of a meeting between Saakashvili and US
Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice in September 2005. Okruashvili has
expressed confidence that Georgia will regain control of Abkhazia and
South Ossetia by the end of the decade, optimism he claims is based on
the participation of the US in the peace process, which, in his opinion,

undermine Russia’s position as the sole mediator.23
The EU’s relations with Georgia and the Caucasus region as a
whole have been tentative, in contrast to those of the US. Nevertheless, it
has included the South Caucasus in the European Neighborhood Policy
(ENP), a reversal of previous policy that shunned engagement with the
region. Although the ENP does not offer potential membership of the EU, it
does offer a “privileged relationship” with the aim of sharing the Union’s
stability and prosperity. This is a noble objective, but there has been little
tangible progress made in furthering relations with any of the South
Caucasus states. In spite of the European Commission recommending the
“significant intensification” of relations through the development of an
Action Plan, the inclusion of these countries into the ENP has yet to
translate into substantive programs. Nevertheless, the inclusion of the three
South Caucasus states is of considerable significance, recognizing the
importance of the region to an expanding EU. With the accession of
Bulgaria and Romania, the organization will border the Black Sea, while
Turkish accession would push the Union’s frontier even further eastwards
to the South Caucasus.24

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