Russia Caucasus Ukraine

Georgia. Yes to peacekeeping with the EU, says Rogozin

(BRUSSELS2) The media war has no public holidays. It was therefore on August 15 at 15 p.m. in the premises of the Novosti press agency that the Russian ambassador to NATO, Vladimir Rogozin, accompanied by the military representative, briefed the international press on the situation. , seen from the Russian side (suffice to say that on the said date, there were not many of us around the table!). A beautiful piece of anthology mixing diplomatic remarks and the most traditional wooden language, with broad digressions on the history of Georgia and Russia. When we sort it out, here's what's left. One point seems important to me: he agrees with the presence of a peacekeeping force, observers, “including military” from the European Union. A step forward when we know that – until now – the Russians have always refused the Georgians the opportunity to modify the format of the peacekeeping forces

Use of force by the Russians: proportionate

The use of force was not disproportionate as has been said. On the contrary, it was very proportionate. When NATO used the force of Yugoslavia, as it did, by destroying certain objectives like television (in Belgrade) it cannot be blamed today for using force. And no NATO country had citizens in Kosovo like Belgrade. It is also impossible to defend the independence of Kosovo and proclaim the integrity of Georgia after what happened in Abkhazia and Ossetia.

The ceasefire agreement is respected

We fully respect the agreement reached after the French president's visit. Now the urgent task is to resolve the humanitarian problems, then to promote reconstruction. Aid arrives through official channels (from the Russian Emergency Agency). And special procedures (to speed up customs formalities) have been made for NGOs or private individuals, we ask them to go through this channel. (…) There was no destruction or looting. I have serious doubts about certain images seen on television. Some destruction is pure propaganda or images of other places.

On access to Gori

All the aid arriving in Gori had Russian origin. (…) There Red Cross has access to everything, because she is impartial. Several NGOs also work in North Ossetia. (…) I hope that Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, can visit the region.

The fate of Abkhazia and Ossetia: not in the same state as today

I do not mention the word genocide only for emotional reasons. But the question now is
whether Ossetians and Abkhazians are ready to live in the same state as Sakhashvili. Nope…

Then came the time for questions

And peacekeeping forces? "Why not. Whether it is the European Union, the OSCE, the UN, we are open and ready for any eventuality, to have more observers in the region.” Including military observers? "Yes why not."

On a possible return to the Cold War?

“It is no longer possible to have bloc politics in the modern world. It is impossible to consider the European security structure if we have built with an obsolete bloc system.”


Photo credit: © NGV

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).