Georgia and Russia have accepted modifications to the fledgling peace deal aimed at ending the war in South Ossetia. Strained negotiations produced agreement to stop military operations, with no further use of force by either side, but Tbilisi objected to any discussion of its future territorial integrity.
“The international community will consider the security and stability of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but we have removed the phrase “future status’,” said President Sarkozy.
EU Foreign Ministers have discussed the plan. Europe wants to be an honest broker between Russia and Georgia, saying it is better-placed than the US, and has better relations with Moscow.
France has won praise for its speedy diplomacy, but questions remain as to whether President Sarkozy’s proposals are a recipe for lasting peace or merely a cessation of hostilities.
“South Ossetia and Abkhazia, can they do they WANT, to live under Tbilisi’s control? They need to ask themselves that question,” said Russian President Medvedev. “International law permits self-determination, and we have seen in recent years the appearence of new countries, let us not forget Kosovo.”
Supposed agreement, but while President Sarkozy has laid Europe’s cars on the table, few doubt Moscow holds all the aces.