Baltics furious with Russia

  • 2008-11-05
  • By TBT staff and wire reports
VILNIUS - The president has said the peace plan in the Georgia-Russia conflict is not being complied to and that Russia is making a fool of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who brokered the peace deal, and the European Union.

President Valdas Adamkus, who met with Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili in Vilnius on Oct. 31 told the media he intends to call this fact to the attention of the European leaders at the EU summit that is believed to feature an attempt to resume the EU-Russia talks over the strategic partnership agreement.
"Lithuania will raise a principal question: do the values that the EU [promotes] exist, and if they do not, what makes the EU change its stance, if it has changed? Obviously, the six-point plan is not being complied with," Adamkus said.

"Every condition that the French president defined and negotiated as the guarantee for Georgia's integrity, of course, never was implemented. The way I understand it, that is an insult both to President Sarkozy, and the entire EU," the president said.
Lithuania has hinted it would disapprove of the resumption of EU-Russia talks unless Russia withdraws its extra troops deployed in the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
President Adamkus and Lech Kaczynski, President of Poland, issued a joint declaration on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia.

The document calls upon the international community and governments of the EU to "demand full and unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgian territory in compliance with the Aug. 12 ceasefire agreement, which was unanimously confirmed by the European leaders at the Sept. 1 EU Summit."
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has declared that the decision adopted by the State Duma of Russian Federation on Oct. 29 to ratify the so-called Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance Treaties with Georgia's South Ossetia and Abkhazia contradicts the provisions of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and violates the principles of the United Nations Charter.

"Under current circumstances, it would be too early to return to the usual terms of the EU's cooperation with Russia," foreign minister Petras Vaitiekunas said.
Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, meanwhile, warned Europe about excessive tolerance towards Russia's conduct and dependence on Russian energy in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel.
"Some European Union countries will certainly soon start behaving as if the Russian aggression against Georgia in August never happened," Ilves said.

"Moscow looks on the former Soviet territories as its sphere of influence. Should we respect this but not the Ukrainians' and the the Georgians' decision to integrate into the West?" he asked.
In Ilves' opinion, Estonia with its large Russian population need not worry about its security even though Russia justified the incursion into Georgia with protection of the Russian minority.
Ilves said the EU should offer more to Georgia and Ukraine to foster the democratization process. He mentioned that it is, at present, considerably simpler for instance to obtain an entry visa for EU countries in Russia than in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

In the president's view, the EU's lukewarm attitude towards Moscow's conduct is due to dependence on Russia. In order to change the present situation, the EU should develop a common energy policy to achieve independence from Russian energy, he said.
The conflict began in August this year when Russia invaded Georgia and took control of the two breakaway regions South Ossetia and Abkhazia. To avoid being declared war mongers, the Russian Duma recognized the two regions as countries, something which no other country has supported.