Saturday

27th Aug 2016

France stymies call to expand EU mission in Georgia

  • The thin blue line - EUMM staff are the only international entity left in the post-conflict zone (Photo: EUobserver)

France has spoken out against proposals to add US or Turkish personnel to the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM).

The move could be a "provocation toward further incidents" as Georgia heads towards the one year anniversary of the war, French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner said at an EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday (27 July).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"I believe this is not the right time to pose the question."

Italy, Cyprus and Belgium also voiced opposition to third party deployment. And the Swedish EU presidency ruled out any formal debate on the subject until autumn.

"A large majority of member states are of the view that we should maintain this as an EU operation," one EU diplomat said.

The UK, Finland, Lithuania and Estonia are continuing to campaign for outside intervention, however. Poland also supports EUMM expansion.

"I think it would probably be very welcome if the US and the EU worked together to ensure stability in Georgia," Lithuanian foreign minister Vygaudas Usackas told EUobserver.

Georgia last week publicly floated proposals to expand the EU mission following the departure of UN and OSCE monitors from the region.

But the EU and the US say they have not received any formal Georgian requests so far.

The US is mistrusted by Georgian rebel leaders in Abkhazia and South Ossetia after Russian accusations that it supplied arms to Georgia and incited its attack on South Ossetia last August.

"Russia could interpret US involvement in the observation mission as military aid to Georgia and reject the idea, even if the de facto [rebel] authorities are not against it," Medea Turashvili, a Tbilisi-based analyst for the International Crisis Group, told this website.

The EU ministers on Monday extended the mandate of the existing EUMM until 14 September 2010 and called for monitors to have access to rebel-held zones.

The EU also postponed from 31 July until 30 September the deadline for a Swiss-led enquiry into the origins of the conflict.

Slovakia's Fico goes to Russia

The Slovak prime minister, whose country currently chairs the EU council, will meet the Russian leader ahead of upcoming EU talks on Russia policy.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary plans to reinforce border fence against migrants
  2. France's highest court suspends burkini ban
  3. Greeks paid €1bn more in taxes in June
  4. Greek minister denounces EU letter on former statistics chief
  5. Turks seeking asylum in Greece may cause diplomatic row
  6. Merkel becomes digital resident of Estonia
  7. Report: VW will compensate US dealers with €1bln
  8. EU mulls making Google pay news media for content

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. GoogleBrussels - home of beer, fries, chocolate and Google’s Public Policy Team - follow @GoogleBrussels
  2. HuaweiSeeds for the Future Programme to Bring Students from 50 countries to China for Much-Needed ICT Training
  3. EFASpain is not a democratic state. EFA expresses its solidarity to Arnaldo Otegi and EH Bildu
  4. UNICEFBoko Haram Violence in Lake Chad Region Leaves Children Displaced and Trapped
  5. HuaweiMaking Cities Smarter and Safer
  6. GoogleHow Google Makes Connections More Secure For Users
  7. EGBAThe EU Court of Justice Confirms the Application of Proportionality in Assessing Gambling Laws
  8. World VisionThe EU and Member States Must Not Use Overseas Aid for Promoting EU Interests
  9. Dialogue PlatformInterview: "There is a witch hunt against the Gulen Movement in Turkey"
  10. ACCAACCA Calls for ‘Future Looking’ Integrated Reporting Culture With IIRC and IAAER
  11. EURidNominate Your Favourite .eu or .ею Website for the .EU Web Awards 2016 Today!
  12. Dialogue PlatformAn Interview on Gulen Movement & Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey