Germany Calls for International Probe into Russo-Georgian Armed Conflict

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called on Georgia and Russia to accept an international inquiry to find out what led to the outbreak of the armed conflict, Reuters reported on September 5. 

He said that the outcome of such an inquiry could shape the west’s future ties with Russia and Georgia.

“Who bears responsibility for what part of the escalation to military confrontation will certainly play a role [in shaping ties],’ Steinmeier told the German newspaper Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung.

“Perhaps it will never be fully cleared up. But I urge both sides to be open to an independent inquiry into the events of early August,” he added

The German foreign minister, according to Reuters, also suggested that the UN or OSCE could lead the probe.

At a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on August 17, President Saakashvili rejected any suggestion that his administration was to blame for the armed conflict with Russia, addng that Georgia was “open for an international investigation of what led to the conflict.”

“We are the ones that immediately demanded access on the ground for international organizations and we were the ones to call for transparency,” he said.

Meanwhile, EU foreign ministers gathered in Avignon, France, on September 5, to consider sending monitors to Georgia.

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