Scandal surrounding EU Special Representative’s statement in South Ossetia over
The EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia, Herbert Salber, met Georgian Deputy Minister, David Dondua, to discuss the problem triggered by the statement he made during the visit to South Ossetia on 16 May.
Salber met South Ossetia’s newly elected President, Anatoly Bibilov, and congratulated him on winning the presidential race, as well as on ‘assuming an important post’. Tbilisi officially expressed its protest in this regard, referring to the EU Special Representative’s statement as ‘unclear and unacceptable’.
The meeting in the Georgian Foreign Ministry was held following a special inquiry by the Georgian MFA which was sent to Herbert Salbert. As the EU Special Representative told journalists following the meeting in the Georgian Foreign Ministry, the European Union fully supported Georgia’s territorial integrity.
“This is a very clear and obvious principle for the EU and personally me, and I, as a representative of the EU in the South Caucasus, support this principle. I publicly and openly emphasize this on every occasion,” Herbert Salber stated.
As he stressed, the EU has made it clear that it doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of the framework in which the presidential election in the breakaway South Ossetia was held. “I fully support this position.”
The South Ossetian Foreign Ministry released a counter statement with regard to the aforesaid political scandal:
“Georgia is apparently misusing the unconditional support to its territorial integrity at the international scene, including on part of the international mediators on Geneva discussions, who should take a neutral and equidistant position in the course of the settlement of the Georgian-Ossetian relations. Diplomatic courtesy shown by Mr. Salber has been perceived in Georgia as almost a sell-out of Georgia’s interests by the EU.
Such a disposition of Georgia’s participation in Geneva Discussions has been a major obstacle on the path towards the development and adoption of a non-use of force document and formation of a reliable security system in the region,” the South Ossetian Foreign Ministry stressed.