New approaches of foreign NGOs to South Ossetia

ср, 13/12/2017 - 11:05

After the Georgian Dream Coalition came to power in Georgia, official Tbilisi has moved to a new scenario of the "conflict resolution" with South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Realizing that the problem could not be resolved by armed means, Georgia staked on restoring economic, social and cultural ties, establishing direct contacts between various categories of citizens of the RSO and Georgia.
One of the most promising areas, according to a number of Georgian politicians, is the restoration of trade and economic relations.
However, the implementation of this project, according to experts of the British NGO "International Alert" encounters a number of subjective and objective difficulties, such as "reluctance of part of the population of the RSO and Georgia to enter into contact with the enemy", "the unwillingness of the parties to make mutual concessions on the issue of the political status of South Ossetia "and "the lack of the necessary legal and regulatory framework."
To develop recommendations for the removal of the existing contradictions a member of the "International Alert" Natalia Mirimanova in April 2015 conducted a comprehensive study "Regulation of trade through disputed borders on the example of China / Taiwan, Serbia / Kosovo and Cyprus", dedicated to the analysis of economic relations, established currently between such pairs of recognized and unrecognized states as the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan), Serbia and Kosovo, the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Currently, China and Taiwan are known to be in a state of "civil war", but the need for economic cooperation forced Beijing and Taipei to make certain contacts, bypassing the official policy of mutual non-recognition.
Taiwan and China established special structures with clearly defined mandates and powers. In Taiwan, in order to avoid the need to negotiate with China on an official level, was established the Council for Continental China to oversee all the issues relating to interaction with China. After that, the Council created a non-governmental structure - the "Fund for exchanges across the Taiwan Strait", which was entrusted with the organization of interaction with the population of the opposite shore of the Taiwan Strait.
In its turn, an NGO "Association for the Development of Relations between the Shores of the Taiwan Strait" was established in China with similar powers, goals and tasks. After that, two non-governmental organizations developed and signed the "Framework Agreement", providing for mutual rights and obligations in the sphere of trade, with its own binding legal force on the basis of internal authorization-based acts of China and Taiwan. The objectives of the agreement are to strengthen and develop economic, trade and investment cooperation between the two sides, creating favorable conditions for liberalization of trade in goods and services, and gradually develop fair and transparent mechanisms that stimulate investment and protect them. The "framework agreement" defines measures aimed at developing cooperation between the shores of the Taiwan Strait.
In Cyprus, two chambers of commerce, which are also nongovernmental organizations, obtained the right to issue certificates certifying the country of origin of products and monitor the implementation of trading rules formulated in the Green Line provision.
This provision is inherently a set of EU trading rules that establishes the procedure for importation of goods from the territories where the acquis communautaire (a zone outside the EU, the Turkish Cypriot community) has been suspended, to the EU member state (Republic of Cyprus).
It is noteworthy that both Chambers of Commerce supported the adoption by both parties of identical regulatory provisions ensuring the possibility of crossing the so-called "green line" by people, goods and services.
In the case of Serbia and Kosovo, the EU first facilitated the signing by the countries of the former Yugoslavia, including Kosovo (then under the control of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), and then in 2007 their accession to the Central European Free Trade Association (CEFTA).
The next step was the accession of Serbia and Kosovo to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Moreover, the unwillingness of Belgrade to sign a bilateral treaty with Pristina was overcome by signing a similar document with UNMIK, which performed executive functions.
According to Natalia Mirimanova, the development of any legal and regulatory framework capable of ensuring the restoring economic contacts between the RSO and Georgia should be based on a number of parameters and conditions that, in the case of the PRC, Taiwan, Serbia, Kosovo and Cyprus, have created a compromise model.
Among them, according to the British researcher, the most important are:
- economic feasibility (stimulates the parties to search for non-standard solutions to simplify legal trading
- institutionalization of trade rules (the creation of non-state institutions regulating the ways of conducting trading activities and not affecting the political status of the parties);
- an emphasis on the private sector, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, as persons interested in developing trade, able to actively lobby and defend their interests in the face of the state.
Undoubtedly, these recommendations will not remain without attention and will be adopted by the Georgian and international structures involved in the process of post-conflict settlement and the "restoration of relations" between South Ossetia and Georgia.
At the same time, the main emphasis, according to the recommendations of the "International Alert", will be made on representatives of the South Ossetian small and medium-sized business. According to the Western brain banks, they must become the force that can achieve a political solution for creating mechanisms for establishing trade relations with Georgia. Without participation will not remain South Ossetian activists of the NGO movement, representatives of the so-called "civil society", which in every possible way will be involved in this process. Particular attention should be paid to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as a structure that can act independently in the foreign economic sphere.
However, Natalia Mirimanova does not take into account the realities existing in the South Ossetian society. So, one of the main reasons for the defeat of Leonid Tibilov in March 2017 , according to social studies, were the rumors about the involvement of some members of his team in the illegal trade with Georgia. It contributed to complete defeat of the former president in the first round.
This fact proves that the problem of normalizing the South Ossetian-Georgian relations is not in the economic sphere.
South Ossetia has been implementing its own successful union political project, the main points of which are unchallenged choice of Russiaas the only political ally, equal Russian-South Ossetian relations, the idea of ​​reunification of the divided Ossetian people within Russia, the decision in union with Russia to modernize the development of the entire Ossetia and the region of the Greater Caucasus as a whole, as well as the uncontested perception of Georgia as the main political opponent and enemy.
This strategic alignment in advance nullifies all attempts by Georgia to ignore its military and political defeat in the war with South Ossetia and questions the possibility and prospects of any dialogue with the Georgian side at all.

Analytical department of the news agency "Res"

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