The Statement of the Republic of South Ossetia Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the Statement of PACE co-reporters

On 12 March, 2012 the Statement of co-reporters Kastriot Islami (Albania) and Astrup Jensen (Denmark) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Georgia was released in Strasburg. It says that parliamentary elections in Abkhazia which took place last Saturday and ‘so called South Ossetia's planned presidential poll on March 25, 2012 could not be considered lawful.’ Above all, according to the authors of this ‘democratic’ statement ‘independence of the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is illegal under international law and, therefore, no legal or constitutional bases for holding these elections do not exist’.

These statements of representatives of such authoritative international organization have called, to put it mildly, a surprise and deep regret in South Ossetia. As it can be seen, the main purpose of denial PACE rapporteurs is not so much the election as the existence of two states - the Republic of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

It is puzzling that the rapporteurs of PACE, for which human rights are one of the main spheres, so easily throw out the right of the peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia to free democratic development and expression of will. Elementary logic suggests that before making such statements about the "unconstitutionality" and "illegality" of South Ossetia existence, the reporters of PACE should have visited South Ossetia as a minimum and made a comprehensive study of the situation including the legal basis.

At best, the PACE rapporteurs limit themselves to visits to Tbilisi, and afterward represent information they obtain there as their own vision.

It is lamentably that theses underlying the Georgian propagandist policy have been accepted by some figures in PACE and are being voiced by them. It is increasingly difficult to distinguish European interests in regard to South Ossetia from the interests of the Georgian leadership. Naturally, such statements can only block any effort to ease tensions in the region.

The experience shows that those international experts who are impartial towards Georgia - South-Ossetia relations and legal matters of the Republic of South Ossetia existence, arrive at the conclusions which do not coincide with the position of the West. This can be illustrated by the findings of the independent EU Commission on studying the events of August 2008 which has recognized Georgia as an aggressor, or some Council of Europe speakers which ‘took the liberty of visiting’ the representatives of South Ossetia and were exposed to rude knocks not only from the side of Georgian politicians but also from their patrons in the West.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Ossetia is obliged to remind again PACE reporters and other uninformed about the real state of affairs, that the Republic of South Ossetia was founded by its people in accordance with the international law. Its independence was declared on the second day after the demise of the Soviet Union - December 21, 1991, i.e. long before the international recognition of Georgia as an independent state, and never was its "separatist region". The desire of the people of South Ossetia for independence was confirmed in referendums in 1992 and 2006, legally drawn up with relevant international law standards including a popularly adopted in the 2001 Constitution. The electoral legislation of South Ossetia, according to experts, is progressive and fully complies with international standards.

The Republic of South Ossetia Ministry of Foreign Affairs impugning the statement PACE rapporteurs as biased and partial, reflecting clearly pro-Georgian position, reiterates that the Republic of South Ossetia is open to any constructive cooperation aimed at strengthening stability in the region.

Tskhinval, 13 March 2012