Monday, September 8, 2008

Statement concerning Der Spiegel article

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia finds it necessary to make its comment regarding an article published in the last week’s issue of German magazine ‘Der Spiegel’ claiming that the OSCE Mission in Georgia released a report on the acts of aggression committed by the Georgian side in the Tskhinvali region and this report was not submitted to all member states of OSCE. Immediately after the publication of this article respective OSCE agencies stated unequivocally that all kinds of reports prepared regularly by the OSCE Mission in Georgia are sent immediately and without exception to all members states of OSCE and none of the Mission’s reports contains information similar to that indicated by ‘Der Spiegel’.

The Georgian side was convinced that the misunderstanding was only a matter of the use of unverified information by the media agency and the issue would be closed shortly after OSCE’s respective clarifications.

It is regrettable, however, that a week after resolving this misunderstanding, the Russian side artificially brought forward the issue again and started to speak about certain ‘investigations’.

It points to a worrisome fact that the Russian side in order to justify its large-scale aggression against Georgia, occupation of Georgian territories and ethnic cleansing of ethnic Georgians, tries to shift the blame for the crimes committed by Russian troops in the Tskhinvali region and Abkhazia as well as on other parts of the Georgian Territory to Georgia by any means, including by invoking non-existing ‘reports’ of the OSCE Mission in Georgia and manipulating over this issue.

It needs to be emphasized that at the meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council held on 4 September the OSCE Chairmanship made it clear once again that the information published by ‘Der Spiegel’ does not correspond to the reality.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia strictly condemns the Russian Federation’s yet another attempt to involve the international community in its manipulations and calls on the Russian side to refrain from the use of similar cheap maneuvers in the future.

Tbilisi, 5 September 2008