Reestablishment of OSCE mission in Georgia is plus for all

A reestablishment of the observers inside Abkhazia and South Ossetia will gradually realize that this is good for all parties, said Goran Lennmarker, OSCE PA President Emeritus and Special Representative on Nagorno-Karabkh and Special Envoy on Georgia.

“Russians will gradually realize that this is good for all parties to have observers to see that the rule of law, that the international norms are observed. It’s a plus, I guess, for all of us,” said Lennmarker in his interview with OSCE press center, which took place after a meeting between Lennmarker and the three delegations to the OSCE PA from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia at the Parliamentary Assembly’s Fall Meetings in Athens.

The mandate of the OSCE mission in Georgia, where the organization has worked since 1992, expired on 1 January this year. In late June, the main base of the OSCE observer mission in Georgia, located in the village of Karaleti of Karelian region, stopped activities. Russia did not agree to extend the OSCE mission in Georgia, since the mission’s mandate does not envisage the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Now the most important thing is for the IDPs and the refugees to come back to South Ossetia and Abkhazia, said Lennmarker. That is international standards that they have right to return home, he said.

“Of course it could be difficult if your house, for example, is burnt down, or you need reassurances that you will not be harassed when you come back,” he said.

“In order to make this possible then you need international observers, so the refugees and IDPs can feel reassured as they can go back and they are not afraid,” said Lennmarker.

Military actions in the unrecognized republic of South Ossetia began on the night of 8 August last year. Georgian troops entered the capital of South Ossetia – Tskhinvali, but later Russia’s troops occupied the city and pushed the Georgian military to the territory of Georgia.
Later, Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which are official territories of Georgia, and on September 9 established diplomatic relations with them.

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