French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said in an interview with the Russian daily Kommersant, published on October 28, that a group of “intellectuals, politicians and lawyers” will make up an international investigative commission, which would probe the causes of the August war between Russia and Georgia.
Kouchner said that “a lady from Switzerland” would chair the commission. Although he refused to name her, he ruled out Carla Del Ponte and added that the person in question was an expert on Caucasus issues.
The French foreign minister said that he hoped both Russia and Georgia would cooperate with the commission and “open up their archives.” He said that a refusal to cooperate would cause international condemnation.
“The commission will be meeting with defense ministers, presidents. I do not know whether Mr. Medvedev will agree. Anyway, why should he refuse to cooperate with the investigation?” Kouchner said.
The Georgian leadership has stated several times it would cooperate with an international investigative group. Eka Tkeshelashvili, Georgia’s foreign minister, told the Georgian parliamentary commission studying the August war on October 25 that Tbilisi was “open for cooperation with an international investigation.”