Georgia, a republic of the former USSR, officially launched the process to oust Russian peacemakers from its territory yesterday. The Georgian parliament started discussing the decree about the situation in conflict zones and peacemaking operations. The speaker of the parliament, Nino Burjanadze, stated that there was no progress in the activities of the Russian peacemakers in Georgia .
The parliament of Georgia will discuss the question at a plenary session on February 14. Most likely, Tbilisi will ask to end the operation in South Ossetia which Russian, Georgian and Ossetian peacemaking units have been conducting since 1992.
The chairman of the parliamentary Committee for Defense and Security Georgy Targamadze told reporters that Russia was waging an unofficial war against Georgia. “Moscow supports separatism. The Russian administration would not refuse to launch a military action against Georgia under pretence of defending their citizens,” the official said. It is worthy of note that many people living in Abkhazia and South Ossetia hold Russian passports. If the peacemakers refuse to leave the Georgian territory, Targamadze added, Georgia would declare them invaders and take adequate actions to expel the Russian military men from the country.
Russian peacemakers were deployed in the unrecognized republic of Abkhazia in 1994 according to the decision made by the CIS Council. The peacemakers in Abkhazia act according to commands from the Joint Committee of Control which unites Russia, Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. If there is a need to end the mandate for the peacemaking troops, all the four members of the committee will have to make an appropriate decision on the matter. South Ossetia is absolutely against it, the President of South Ossetia (also an unrecognized republic) Eduard Kokoita said. The commander of the above-mentioned committee, Marat Kulakhmetov, said that the peacemakers would stay on their current locations despite the decision of the Georgian parliament unless the committee makes a coordinated decision to withdraw the contingent.
”Many of the current events happen spontaneously. It is not clear how the standoff will end. Everything will depend on Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili. However, the parliament should make a decision first,” a Georgian politician Paata Zakareishvili said in an interview with the Vremya Novostei newspaper.