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Estonia Calls for EU Peacekeeping in Abkhazia, S.Ossetia
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 5 Aug.'08 / 10:35

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said states not directly involved in the South Ossetian and Abkhazian conflicts should undertake peacekeeping missions in the two regions.

“Peacekeeping in these regions is a suitable undertaking for the European Union,” the Estonian foreign minister said in a statement on August 4. “We need international efforts to resolve the situation.”

Paet said he had discussed the issue with his Finnish and Swedish counterparts.

"Having discussed with my Swedish and Finnish colleagues we have found that despite of the vacation period, European Union Presidency and European Commission should carefully follow the events and react fast if needed," Paet said. "Member states are willing to find sustainable solution to region's conflicts. Issues related to Georgia’s conflict regions were under serious attention at the last EU foreign ministers’ meeting held in the end of July."

Georgia wants to replace the current Russian-led peacekeeping operations in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Unlike the Baltic states, many EU states, particularly France and Germany, seem to be less than supportive towards EU's peacekeeping engagement. 

The Abkhaz  three-stage peace plan, proposed by Germany and supported by France, Britain and the U.S. – all members of the UN secretary-general’s Group of Friends - accepts the continuation of the Russian peacekeeping operation in Abkhazia.

Peter Semneby, the EU’s special representative for the South Caucasus, said on July 9 in Tbilisi that security on the ground and an agreement from both sides were needed before the EU would even consider the possibility of contributing to a potential new peacekeeping mission in Abkhazia.

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