Ceasefire monitors from the European Union have been mandated to carry on their mission in Georgia for another year.
More than 200 unarmed EU observers were deployed after last August’s war, when Russia crushed a Georgian assault on the breakaway region of South Ossetia. EU foreign ministers, meeting in Brussels, agreed to extend their activities until September 2010. It is the only group left to monitor the ceasefire in Georgia. UN and OSCE missions were forced to pull out after Russia rejected extending their mandates. But, with the Europeans still denied entry to South Ossetia or Abkhazia which Moscow recognises as independent states, ministers today called for unhindered access. Today’s meeting failed to discuss the possibility of broadening the EU mission. Some member states want other nations including the US to participate. Others fear that could anger Russia, a key energy supplier to the bloc.