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Extraordinary European Council meeting on the situation in Georgia

Nicolas Sarkozy, Javier Solana, © Conseil de l'Union européenne Nicolas Sarkozy, Javier Solana © Conseil de l'Union européenne
  • On: 01.09.2008
  • In: Brussels


Meeting in an extraordinary session on 1 September following the conflict that broke out in Georgia, the European Council unanimously expressed its concern at the consequences, particularly in human terms, of this situation and its condemnation of Russia’s unilateral decision to recognise the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

It reiterated the unacceptable nature of this decision and called on other States not to recognise this proclaimed independence, emphasising once more that a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict in Georgia must be based on full respect for the principles of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity recognised by international law and United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The Heads of State and Government are pleased that the agreement achieved on the basis of the French Presidency’s mediation efforts on behalf of the European Union has led to a ceasefire, improved delivery of humanitarian aid to the victims, and a substantial withdrawal of Russian military forces. The 27 Member States reiterate that the implementation of that plan has to be complete and call on the parties to continue the full implementation in good faith of the agreement they have signed. They emphasised the urgency of finalising the international monitoring mechanism, in which the EU is prepared to participate, and which is provided for in point 5 of the agreement, and to begin the international talks concerning the security and stability arrangements in Abkhazia and South Ossetia provided for in point 6. The EU is ready to commit itself, including through a presence on the ground, and has decided in particular to send a fact-finding mission charged with defining the modalities for an increased commitment.

In addition to the emergency aid it is supplying, the EU is prepared to supply aid for reconstruction in Georgia, including in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and to examine the enhancement of its relations with Georgia. It is more necessary than ever to support regional cooperation and the EU’s relations with its neighbours. The European Council called for the intensification of efforts to ensure the security of energy supplies and the diversification of energy sources and supply routes.

The European Council has decided to appoint a European Union Special Representative for the crisis in Georgia. It considers that this crisis has placed the relationship between the EU and Russia at a crossroads and that it is in Russia’s own interest not to isolate itself from Europe. For its part, the EU has shown itself willing to engage in partnership and cooperation, in keeping with the values on which it is based, and expects Russia to behave in a reasonable manner, honouring all its international commitments. The EU will remain vigilant and examine the various aspects of its relations with Russia, in particular in the run-up to the next summit scheduled to take place on 14 November in Nice.

The European Council has given a mandate to its President to continue discussions with a view to the full application of the six-point agreement. To that end, the President of the European Council, Nicolas Sarkozy, will go to Moscow on 8 September, accompanied by the President of the Commission and the High Representative. Until troops have withdrawn to the positions held prior to 7 August, meetings on the negotiation of the Partnership Agreement will be postponed.

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  • Updated: 31.12.2008
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