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EUMM and Georgian Ministry of Defence sign Memorandum of Understanding
26.01.2009
The European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) and the Ministry of Defence of Georgia signed a Memorandum of Understanding today stipulating certain restrictions to the movements of the Georgian armed forces in the vicinity of the administrative boundary lines of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as well as giving advance information to EUMM.

This Memorandum of Understanding will help to stabilise the situation along the administrative boundary lines. It contributes to the implementation of Point one of the Six-Point-Plan, which demands that there shall be no recourse to force. It also enhances the stabilisation efforts that EUMM undertakes in Georgia as part of its mandate.

The Head of EUMM, Ambassador Hansjörg Haber, welcomed today’s agreement as a step in the right direction:
“Embracing the idea that its military forces will have to operate according to principles of transparency and predictability, the Georgian government makes a brave and unilateral move to de-escalate and forestall tensions along the administrative boundary lines.

As long as this agreement is in force, EUMM will be able to issue, as it were, a clean bill of health to the effect that Georgia will not be able to assemble a force with sufficient escalation potential to militarily challenge the administrative boundary lines.

This does not mean a diplomatic recognition of the status quo. The position of Georgia on this question is well known and so is the position of the EU.

EUMM hopes that Russia will study this arrangement carefully and in a positive spirit. If Russia decides to reciprocate this agreement, I am sure that even more security and stability is possible along the administrative boundary lines. Russia should provide clarity about the total number of its
forces within Abkhazia and South Ossetia.. And it should thin out its forces in the immediate vicinity of the administrative boundary lines. There can be real stability if both sides contribute to it.”
 
 
 
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