Several European Union countries have called for an international enquiry into the Russia-Georgia crisis. Europe’s top diplomats brainstorming in the southern French city of Avignon are also discussing the launch of a civilian monitoring mission to Georgia. The French EU presidency is chairing the informal talks. The foreign ministers of Germany and Italy demanded the most forcefully to know: “Who participated in the escalation to armed conflict, and with what motives?”
France brokered a deal to end the war last month, but Moscow has kept troops in Georgian territory beyond the rebel regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Europe and the US have so far held back from tough sanctions against Russia after it sent forces to crush Georgia’s bid to overpower the rebels. Georgia’s leaders cited repeated armed provocations by Russia.
New EU-Russia partnership talks due this month could be postponed. The bloc’s member states are divided on how to deal with Europe’s largest energy supplier.