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Russia foreign minister accuses EU of distorting Georgia ceasefire plan

[JURIST] Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov [official profile] said Wednesday that a peace plan [press release; implementation plan, PDF] approved on Monday between the European Union (EU) [official website, JURIST news archive] and Georgia to allow EU monitors in the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia [JURIST news archive] contradicts a deal approved [Hindustan Times report] only hours before by Russia [JURIST news archive]. Lavrov said the deal approved by Russia only allowed the observers, who are members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) [official website] to take up positions outside of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The EU attempted to clarify by saying that it had not made an agreement with Russia on whether the observers would enter the breakaway regions, but that it hoped in time the observers would be deployed in any part of the Georgian territory. The US, EU, and many other nations still hold South Ossetia and Abkhazia to be part of Georgia despite Russian recognition [JURIST report] of their status as independent countries. The BBC has more. The Moscow Times has additional coverage.

These events come amidst international court filings by both Georgia and Russia. Attorneys representing the Georgian Republic appeared [JURIST report] before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website; JURIST news archive] Monday seeking emergency orders to stop the alleged killing and mass displacement of citizens in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Georgia argued that Russia is engaged in ethnic cleansing and is violating the 1965 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination [text] by removing ethnic Georgians from the territories. Russia countered that its military actions have saved lives. Last month Russia instituted its own action [JURIST report] against Georgia in the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website], alleging that Georgia committed war crimes against ethnic Russians in South Ossetia.

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