OSCE has solid grounds to show common sense in its approaches

Fri, 26/02/2010 - 17:33

Conservatism and stereotyped thinking in foreign policy – factors, which caused frustration among many states and international organizations inflexible in their response to the changed political realities. An example of such sluggishness – the persistent unwillingness to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and the support to "the territorial integrity" of Georgia, which throughout the post-Soviet period had no control over these republics. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, South Ossetia and Abkhazia became de-facto independent states, and in 2008, they sovereignty was recognized by Russia.

Soon, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Nauru followed this example. The preceding wars cost thousands of lives of Ossetians, Abkhaz, Georgians, and plunged the development of these people into deep stagnation, both in economic and social sectors. The Georgian regime leaders clinging to power did not give up their aggressive policy and revenge- seeking intentions causing skepticism even among pre-Georgian experts who cannot help but see the obvious thing – Russia is consistent in building its bilateral relations with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and for Russia, to refuse the steps already taken would mean to the political elite of the country a loss of international and intra-state authority. If Medvedev or Putin went as far as recognizing the young republics and did not prevent themselves from "disproportionate" use of force to suppress the aggressor during the war in August 2008, it was a response to the emerging situation. Practically no one had expected this resolute step from Russia; nonetheless, this resoluteness led to a progressive decision. Same kind of constructive and flexible approach from the side of Western countries and international organizations would mean the settlement of one of the Caucasus conflicts and would have, above all, a positive impact on the situation in Georgia. Without political and financial support to current Georgian regime's policies would make Tbilisi think about acknowledging the existing realities. The pockets of tension along the boundaries of Georgia would disappear, those that now hinder Georgia's entry into different international institutions, including the military alliances. If the Georgian people wishes to join NATO, nothing should prevent them from doing so. The question is if public opinion matters anything to Georgian regime, or NATO is needed first of all to preserve the power. One can hardly expect that Brussels does not understand this, however, the above mentioned inflexibility prevents the NATO officials to take relevant steps. On 25 February, the RF Permanent Representative to the OSCE called on the member states to recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The proposal made to one of the biggest international organizations is worth taking if there is common sense in place. The recognition of the sovereignty of Ossetians and Abkhazians by the OSCE 56 member states would be an unquestionable success in foreign policy of these young states, though it would be a success in the foreign policies of the OSCE members states as well. The sticking point is whether the OSCE is ready to refuse its stereotyped approaches and demonstrate common sense.

Analytic Department of RES Agency

Мой мир