Monday

21st Jan 2019

OSCE denies report 'censuring' Georgia

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe has denied that it strongly censured Tblisi for the South Ossetian conflict in August, following the publication of articles in the German press that internal reports from the regional security organisation had attacked the Georgian leadership.

An article in Monday's edition of Der Spiegel describes documents from the OSCE leaked to the German centre-left weekly that accuse Georgian President Mikheil Sakaashvili of ordering the assault on Tskhinvali in advance of Russian tanks entering the Roki Tunnel - the road linking Russia to South Ossetia, and not afterwards, as the Georgian government has insisted.

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  • The OSCE is a regional security organisation whose members stretch across the northern hemisphere (Photo: WIKIPEDIA)

If true, the OSCE reports would effectively blame Georgia for starting the conflict.

However, speaking to the EUobserver, OSCE spokesperson Martin Nesirky called the article in Der Spiegel "ludicrous", lamenting their appearance in a magazine he described as "normally very trustworthy".

"The OSCE's mission to Georgia makes regular reports that are distributed to all 56 participating states in the organisation, including the Russian Federation and Georgia," Mr Nesirky added in a statement.

"None of these reports contains information of the kind mentioned in the Der Spiegel story."

"The OSCE's military monitoring officers do not have access to the Roki tunnel and therefore would not have been in a position to report, one way or the other, on the timing of Russian tank movements."

"It is preposterous to suggest the OSCE engages in or has access to telephone intercepts."

The Der Spiegel quotes a source "familiar with the reports" as saying: "Saakashvili lied 100 percent to all of us, the Europeans and the Americans."

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