SCO supports Russia’s active role in promoting peace in the Caucasus

Shanghai Cooperation Organization has supported Russia’s active role in promoting peace in the South Caucasus. This is stated in its joint declaration released after the summit of the SCO in Dushanbe that embraces Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Our commentary is by Konstantin Garibov.

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev briefed the summit about the developments starting from the night of the 8th of August when Georgia invaded South Ossetia and explained the motives that prompted the Russian authorities to take several difficult decisions. Among these are launching an operation to force Georgia to peace and recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Dmitri Medvedev described as a crime and irresponsible move the action of the Georgian authorities who launched an aggression against South Ossetia. However, not only Georgia but also its sponsors are blamed for the aggression

Dmitri Medvedev says that it’s well known who connived with the Georgian authorities and even provoked them proceeding from selfish aims. Such behaviour is completely unacceptable and should be intercepted. In these extreme circumstances Russia has pursued a responsible and predictable policy in the region. Russia would like to express gratitude for understanding its peacekeeping efforts and giving them an unbiased assessment, said Dmitri Medvedev.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization urged the countries that are involved in the conflict for a dialogue to solve it and welcomed the six principles endorsed by the Russian and French Presidents, Dmitri Medvedev and Nicolas Sarkozy. According to the political scientist Sergei Markov, Moscow did not expect an unconditional support for its actions, especially the recognition of the independence of the two republics. In this case, it is more important for Moscow to reach an understanding with its SCO partners.

Sergei Markov says that Russia has counted not so much on official support of the SCO members for its action in the South Caucasus as first and foremost understanding. Moscow has won such an understanding, of course. China and other SCO members are well aware the conflict was triggered by Washington, which launched an aggression in the Southern Caucasus by the hands of its marionette, the culprit Saakashvili. They understand that Russia has become a victim of the US aggression. They are quite happy that Russia displayed firmness in this situation, said Sergei Markov.

Russia will hold the SCO presidency for a year henceforth. The summit approved following decisions. It will take steps to expand the organization. It decided to upgrade cooperation with countries that enjoy observer-member status up to partner for dialogue. India, Pakistan and Iran are observer-states of SCO. Most likely, Washington has to take into account this signal from the SCO summit in Tajic capital.

[Source: The Voice of Russia, Moscow, 30Aug08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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