Main goal of the Geneva talks is Georgian breakaways regions’ security

Summary

The main goal of the Geneva International talks for security and stability in the South Caucasus, which are regularly held in accordance with the Medvedev-Sarkozy agreement reached immediately after the August 2008 war, is ensuring security for South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Disproof

This approach is in line with a recurring disinformation narrative on South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The Russian side has thus far failed to comply with the Medvedev-Sarkozy agreement, and the main goal of the Geneva Discussions, where the EU, United Nations, and OSCE act as mediators, is protecting Georgia from what the international community, with the exception of few nations, recognizes as Russian aggression.

In 2008, Russia exercised military aggression against Georgia, a sovereign and independent country. Russia has a long history of provocation in the region.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 145
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04/04/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, EU, Georgia
  • Keywords: Abkhazia, Russo-Georgian War, OSCE
  • Outlet: Sputnik-Ossetia
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Ukraine has only been accepted into the Western camp in order to serve as a deployment area against Russia

Ukraine has only been accepted into the Western camp in order to serve as a deployment area against Russia.

Disproof

No evidence given. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on Ukraine and Western belligerence towards Russia, the West attempting to weaken and isolate Russia or to use Ukraine as NATO-springboard towards Russia.

While aware of pro-Kremlin disinformation campaigns, the West is trying to keep open channels of communications with Russia.

For instance, NATO as the Western organisation created cooperation bodies – the Permanent Joint Council and the NATO-Russia Council – to embody its relationship with Russia. It also invited Russia to cooperate on missile defence. The Warsaw Summit Communique 2016 describes NATO's official policy towards Russia: "The Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia. But we cannot, and will not, compromise on the principles on which our Alliance and security in Europe and North America rest."

Venice Commission always sides with incumbent government in Georgia

The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, who were always professional, used to arrive back when Saakashvili was president and voice their concerns, although it was obvious that they first and foremost placed emphasis on statements which were in the authorities’ interests. This continued after the Georgian Dream came to power… This Commission shuns conclusions or acutely critical assessments that would go against any incumbent authorities’ grain.

Disproof

Pro-Russian disinformation narrative seeking to undermine the standing of International institutions, and the Council of Europe in particular.

In 2002-2019, the Venice Commission has made numerous scathingly critical assessments about the Georgian authorities’ legislative activities. The March 2004 Venice Commission’s Opinion on the Draft Amendments to the Constitution of Georgia stated that the proposed changes did not correspond to the government model and described the proposed president’s chairmanship of the Supreme Council of Justice “extremely problematic.”

Georgia does not benefit from free trade agreement with EU

The signing in September 2014 of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the EU has not benefited Georgia, which remains reliant on the post-Soviet market for its exports. Exports to the DCFTA countries have not increased.

Disproof

According to DCFTA.gov.ge, a website run by the Georgian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and dedicated to the agreement-related developments, export from Georgia to the EU in 2018 increased by 11.5% compared to 2017 and accounted for 21.7% of the country’s total exports. Agricultural exports increased by 6% from 2017, and industrial exports by 13%.

The overview on the website of the Georgian edition of the Forbes magazine states that in January-June 2018, Georgia’s exports to the EU exceeded exports to Russia by 80%. In the same period, Georgian exports to the EU grew by 21%, to Russia – by 10%. From 2004 to 2018, Georgia consistently exported more to the EU than to Russia. In 2007-2017, 3.5 times more products ($3.6 billion more) were exported to the EU than to Russia.