Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE) will debate on September 29 a draft resolution calling on Russia to fulfill commitments imposed upon it by PACE’s January, 2009 and October, 2008 resolutions before the end of this year.
Another key issue of the draft resolution is PACE’s call for the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to request the Pre-Trial Chamber of the Court to formally open an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by either side in the course and aftermath of the August war.
The draft resolution says that the Assembly “cannot accept the apparent reluctance of both Georgia and Russia to investigate in a credible manner serious allegations of violations of human rights and humanitarian law.”
In a separate paragraph, the draft resolution makes a focus on Russia in this regard and says that the Assembly “condemns Russia and the de facto authorities of South Ossetia for not having brought resolutely to a halt and seriously investigated the ethnic cleansing of ethnic Georgians that by all accounts took place.”
The draft resolution lists obligations, which the Assembly “strongly urges” Russia to fulfill before the end of this year, including giving unrestricted access to EU monitors to the breakaway regions; granting freedom of movement for Georgian civilians across the administrative boundary lines; recognizing “formally and effectively” the right of return of all displaced persons in South Ossetia and Abkhazia; initiating investigation into acts of alleged ethnic cleansing.
A report by PACE Monitoring Committee presented to the Assembly for consideration says that it deems “inevitable that the Monitoring Committee challenges the credentials of the Russian delegation” at the opening of the January 2010 session, if the Russian authorities continue ignoring these commitments. A group of 72 PACE members have already signed a motion for resolution calling for revoking credentials for the Russian delegation.
The Russian delegation says that Moscow’s non-compliance with the Assembly demands is the result of its diverging position with the regard to the status of the two breakaway regions, which Moscow has recognized as independent states.
But the proposed draft resolution says that the most of the Assembly demands have no relation to the status of the two regions and therefore “can not understand that Russia failed to comply even with these demands.”
“It therefore considers that Russia’s non-compliance with its demands underscores its lack of political will to address the consequences of the war in a manner incumbent on a member state of the Council of Europe,” the draft resolution reads.