Two-day high-level OSCE summit, first of this kind since 1999, ended in Astana without adoption of a comprehensive action plan for strengthening the organization’s role in preventing and resolving conflicts, including because of a failure to agree on wording in respect of Georgia.
“We have offered Russia to find a compromise. But as we said earlier, we would not have allowed adoption of any document, action plan not reflecting objectively and in details Georgia, our territorial integrity, sovereignty and war in Georgia,” Grigol Vashadze, the Georgian foreign minister, said on December 3 and added that agreement became impossible between Russia and other OSCE participating states.
Sergi Kapanadze, head of the Georgian Foreign Ministry’s department for international organizations, said it became impossible to adopt the summit’s key document “because Russia was not ready to take a constructive step in respect of the conflicts.”
Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said on December 1, that Moscow would not have agreed on such a wording in the document, which made a reference to Georgia’s territorial integrity “in its previous borders”.
“An issue of ‘conflict in Georgia’ was voiced in the speeches of number of western delegations in such a context that as if South Ossetia and Abkhazia remain part of Georgia and as if there is a conflict between Moscow and Tbilisi. We have explained to our interlocutors… that we see no conflict between Russia and Georgia,” Lavrov said, referring to Moscow’s position, according to which it is not part of the conflict, which is only between Tbilisi and Sokhumi on the one hand and Tbilisi and Tskhinvali on the other.
The OSCE Astana summit adopted Commemorative Declaration, which reaffirms in general terms the organization’s existing values.
In his address to the summit on December 1, President Saakashvili called for “stronger, better and more resolute OSCE, one that does not shy away from tackling the real problems and serves as forum for dialogue between partners, between all the leaders at every level.”
In his speech he also reiterated readiness for a dialogue with Russia and also said that he had already sent letters reflecting Georgia’s non-use of force pledge to the Secretary-General of the OSCE, UN and NATO, as well as the Presidents of the European Commission, the European Council and the United States.