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Russian Peacekeepers “Keeping Peace” Illegally

The Dilis Gazeti; The Resonance

(Georgian Press Digest. Civil Georgia. 04.01.02) – Russian peacekeepers’ mandate, deployed in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone under the CIS auspices, expired on December 31, 2001.

Georgian President Shevardnadze asks the Parliament to prolong the term. The Parliament, on the other hand, issued a verdict about ceasing the mandate of Russian peacekeepers and withdrawing them from the conflict zone several months ago.

According to the Dilis Gazeti, the matter of peacekeepers leaving for home is problematic both politically and technically. Besides, “decision of the Georgia Parliament is nothing in comparison with political will of big Russia. Moreover, political determination of Georgian President coincides with that of Georgia’s northern neighbor”, the paper says.

Head of Abkhazia’s Supreme Council Tamaz Nadareishvili, who has always been radical in his positions, talks about compromises now. He supports the idea about Russian peacekeepers leaving Georgia but says there are some compromises Georgia should make for Russia pulling its “peacemakers”. He says Georgia might agree on prolonging the term of Russian military bases existing in the country instead.

The Resonance publishes the opinion of politicians and experts concerning the issue. MP Vakhtang Khmaladze says that the executive government and the President should be responsible for neglecting the verdict of Georgia Parliament concerning Russian peacekeepers. On the other hand, he is dubious about keeping peace in the region in terms of no peacekeepers located there.

Head of the Young Lawyers Association Tinatin Khidasheli says there should be a mixed contingent of peacekeepers in the conflict zone. This is the practice wide used in the world.

“The President has his own arguments. He says the CIS peacekeepers should be allowed to stay because it is impossible to replace them with another contingent so far”, the Resonance reports.   

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