Georgia’s President Mikhail Saakashvili accepted the cease-fire conditions for the zone of the conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia and signed the document, which had been coordinated Tuesday between the presidents of Russia and France.
“We have coordinated the text of the entire document with President Saakashvili and introduced certain corrections,” Sarkozy said after the talks with Saakashvili in Tbilisi late Tuesday.
The document will be presented for the meeting of foreign ministers of all 27 countries of the European Union. “The ministers will approve the document, it will become a resolution and will have legal force,” the French president said.
As for the corrections introduced in the document, Sarkozy said that they had withdrawn the part about the international discussion of the future political status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Instead, Sarkozy and Saakashvili emphasized the need to conduct international negotiations to guarantee stability and security in these two regions of Georgia.
“We are signing this document about the basic principles under the conditions of the humanitarian catastrophe. The most important aspect of the document is to cease fire. The regulation process should be initialized,” Georgia’s President Saakashvili said.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice hopes that the Russians will stop military operations, the scale of which does not match the circumstances, as she said in an interview with ABC.
Condoleezza Rice stated that Moscow’s integration in world’s biggest institutions was at risk because of the armed conflict.
“The Russians have said that they do want to be a part of that prosperous and forward-looking international community, and frankly they are doing great damage to their ability to do that," Rice told ABC.
"There are any number of opportunities for Russia to reverse course and to demonstrate that it is trying to behave according to 21st century principles," she said. "But, I can assure you that Russia's international reputation and what role Russia can play in the international community is very much at stake here."
Rice stated that the time, when the world would have to deal with the consequences of what happened in South Ossetia and Georgia, would come, although she did not specify what consequences Russia may eventually face.
The US Secretary of State repeated several times that Russia had a lot to lose, including its international reputation and its role in the international community.
Condoleezza Rice’s anti-Russian remarks became yet another demonstration of double standards of the Bush’s administration in terms of sovereignty and territorial integrity, ITAR-TASS reports.
Washington blatantly ignored these principles several months ago, when it recognized the independence of Kosovo, an inseparable part of Serbia. However, it just so happens that the US administration sees the sovereignty principles highly important when it comes to Georgia.
Rice particularly stated that since South Ossetia and Abkhazia sit within the internationally recognized borders of Georgia, any regulation of conflicts must be based on the territorial integrity of Georgia.
In the meantime, Russian President Medvedev signed a decree to declare August 13 the mourning day in Russia in connection with the humanitarian catastrophe in South Ossetia.
“Despite the agreements on peaceful regulation of the situation in the zone of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict and contrary to the UN Charter, Georgia’s armed forces illegally invaded the territory of South Ossetia on August 8, 2008. Using aviation and heavy artillery, the armed forces of Georgia attempted to seize South Ossetia, exterminating its civilians. Georgia has thus committed genocide of the South Ossetian nation, destroyed the city of Tskhinvali and other settlements, which resulted in a humanitarian catastrophe in South Ossetia,” the decree runs.
“In addition, Georgia attacked the military contingent of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, which was deployed in the region in accordance with international agreements to normalize the situation in the area of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict. This is classified as an act of aggression as per Resolution of the UN General Assembly of December 14, 1974,” the document says.