TBILISI, DFWatch–Russia avoided questions about the occupation of Georgian territory during a debate of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.
Georgia’s delegation was not given an opportunity to ask questions.
Speaker for the Russian delegation Sergey Narishkin talked for about 45 minutes and the parliament members didn’t have time to ask questions.
He was asked a question by Pedro Agramunt about Russian pressure on other countries, including Georgia, before the upcoming Vilnius Summit. Narishkin didn’t mention Georgia in his answer, but he denied that Russia is putting pressure on neighboring countries. He said no-one can take away the right to share ‘what benefits Ukraine and other CSI countries may get from the customs union and what results it may cause to sign an Association Agreement with the EU.’
Members of the Georgian delegation were not given an opportunity to ask questions to the Russian speaker. Tedo Japaridze, head of the Georgian delegation, expressed dissatisfaction with the Georgian media in Strasbourg and said that Jean-Claude Mignon, President of PACE, played a negative role, as he could have arranged the list of speakers so that the Georgian delegation would have had an opportunity to ask questions.
“This is probably the first time Russia hasn’t tried to take the position that everyone’s wrong and they are right, from the start,” Tina Khidasheli from the Georgian delegation said. “When he was asked about the occupation, he avoided to answer and didn’t answer. This is probably the first time he didn’t even try to protect himself and didn’t even try to justify the Russian arguments.”
On the other hand, the PACE monitoring committee prepared a resolution about political processes in Georgia which criticizes the government for arresting opposition leaders and for ongoing trials.
“Cases of politically-motivated violence and intimidation of opposition supporters, pressure on officials to resign prematurely from their elected or appointed positions, and undue interference of local officials in the election process must be excluded during the election campaign,” the PACE statement reads.
“The relevant authorities should investigate any allegations of election campaign violations, firm and proportional sanctions should be applied in order to avoid violations in the future, and the public should be informed about measures undertaken.”