PACE Session to Focus on Georgia-Russia War
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 28 Sep.’08 / 18:17
The August war in Georgia will be the main focus of the autumn session of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE), which opens in Strasbourg on September 29.
The debates will be held in two parts: on September 30 and on October 2.
A group of 24 members of PACE submitted a request for the reconsideration of the credentials of the Russian delegation to PACE “on the grounds of serious violations of the basic principles” of the Council of Europe.
Vice-Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, Mikheil Machavariani, who is a member of the Georgian delegation to PACE, told journalists before departure to Strasburg that it was not yet possible to predict the outcome of the request and whether the credentials of the Russian delegations would be suspended or not.
As part of the run-up to the debates, an ad hoc committee will paid a fact-finding visit to Georgia and Russia. The group called for an international probe into the events that led to the war.
Meanwhile, on September 24, Foreign Ministers of Council of Europe member states met in New York on the sideline of the UN General Assembly to discuss Georgia-Russia war and its consequences.
This informal meeting was initiated by Carl Bildt, the Swedish Foreign Minister, who is now a chairman of the CoE’s ministerial committee.
The Swedish Foreign Minister said in the report submitted to the ministerial committee that as far as South Ossetia and Abkhazia are “integral parts” of Georgia “the military actions undertaken by Georgian forces during the conflict thus concerned Georgian territory” and should no way be seen “as an aggression towards the Russian Federation.”
“It is furthermore clear, that since it contravenes International law when a state uses military force to protect its citizens in another state, the Russian large-scale military actions in Georgia can not be justified as self-defense,” Carl Bildt said.