Georgia’s direct address regarding settlement of the South Ossetian and Abkhazian conflicts to Russia over the heads of the republics is “a current trend that fits into the anti-Russian sanctions”, Alan Dzhussoyev, leader of the South Ossetian “Your Choice, Ossetia” civic movement, has told EADaily, when commenting on the stand of Kakha Imnadze, Georgia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Imnadze has recently stated that Georgia has no need for a direct dialogue with the representatives of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and prefers negotiating with Russia.
“The problem is not between Georgia and Abkhazia or South Ossetia. The problem is between Georgia and the Russian Federation. So, we are discussing this issue with Russia at a political level,” Imnadze said at a UN press conference on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of the 08.08.08 war.
In Alan Dzhussoyev’s words, Georgia cannot support the US and EU sanctions against Russia given the specificity of its economy and geography, but it will try to do an ill turn to Russia. “The exclusion of the Republic of South Ossetia and the Republic of Abkhazia from the general theme of the Georgian conflict perfectly meets the West’s anti-Russian rhetoric. In other words, such a format of conflict discussion without South Ossetia and Abkhazia makes Russia an aggressor and an occupant. The West will try to turn the Georgia-Russia relations into one more point of tension, this time a point of diplomatic tension,” says Dzhussoyev.
Such statements by Georgia fail to contribute to what the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for on the seventh anniversary of conclusion of the treaty on the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict settlement order. In particular, Ban Ki-moon stressed the need “to redouble the efforts to make concrete progress”. Dzhussoyev thinks the statements of Georgia’ representatives escalate the conflict.
“Georgia undertook an act of aggression against the Republic of South Ossetia. In the course of the Clear Field codenamed operation in 2008, the Georgian troops killed over 70 Russian peacekeepers that were in the conflict zone under the mandate provided by relevant forces, including Georgia. Russia has declared South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states and is building interstate relations with them. This being said, occupation and annexation of the territory are out of the question,” Dzhussoyev says.
He recalls that Georgia’s war against South Ossetia and Abkhazia lasted for over 20 years, passing from a hot phase to a cold one. “Any war aims to kill or capture the adversary. Everyone should clearly understand it. Georgia’s war against South Ossetia pursued that very goal. What is the conflict settlement in Georgia’s opinion? It is a forced annexation of the South Ossetian and Abkhazian territories to Georgia. I reiterate – Georgia needs the territories only. What is the conflict settlement in the opinion of South Ossetia and Abkhazia? It is recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by the international community and Georgia, as well as establishment of normal interstate relations,” Dzhussoyev notes.
Ban Ki-moon stated that the United Nations remains firmly committed to the Geneva International Discussions, which are jointly co-chaired by the United Nations, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. “The Geneva International Discussions remain the only platform recognized by all participants to address the issues stemming from the conflict,” he said.
Alan Dzhussoyev thinks that the Geneva International Discussions are “nothing but handwaving.” “The format of discussions can give no results. That format was deliberately proposed by the US and the EU, as Georgia’s positions are weak and disadvantaged. One can say anything and suggest anything during the discussions but one can take no decisions. Discussions do not resolve conflicts. So, the doubled or even tripled efforts will result in nothing,” he says. The conflicting parties have different views of the settlement, he says.
Like the US Congress, the UN issues statements on the war in South Ossetia annually, but they do not influence the conflict settlement process, Dzhussoyev says. “The UN cannot force events or take any decisions on our conflict. Neither does it recognize the Republic of South Ossetia or the Republic of Abkhazia. Each UN statement on South Ossetia and Abkhazia will support Georgia’s stand. The UN is looking for neither wrong nor right parties. It is working out no decisions either. Unfortunately, today the UN voices a unilateral stand. The South Ossetian-Georgian conflict is a black spot for the West and in the light of the anti-Russian rhetoric and sanctions the spot should immediately be whitewashed,” Dzhussoyev says.
He also thinks that the Foreign Ministry of South Ossetia should by all means respond to those statements. “The Geneva Discussions should raise these issues. Moreover, the Foreign Ministry of South Ossetia should notify all the Discussions participants and Russia of South Ossetia’s stand in due time. Our firm stand is that Georgia is an aggressor and that the aggression was undertaken in 1991 by the nationalists who came to power in Georgia. Since 1991, Georgia’s stand on South Ossetia has not changed at all. There have been three attempts to resolve the problem of the Ossetian population and its aspiration for independence in the military way,” he notes.
“Whatever the UN, the US and the EU say, the Republic of South Ossetia should consistently go along the path its people chose at the referendum of 1992 and reaffirmed at the referendum of 2006. This is the path to build a state and statehood. This is the choice of our people. If Georgia wants to discuss anything or if it has any suggestions concerning the choice of South Ossetia, it should discuss them with South Ossetia,” Dzhussoyev concludes.