OSCE: EU Statement on South Ossetia, Georgia

Finnish Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Permanent Council No. 625

14 September 2006

The European Union deplores the death of four people in the area of Tbeti on September 8. We strongly condemn the killings of three South Ossetian ‘militiamen’ and one Georgian special forces officer and the heavy exchange of fire the following morning in Ergneti.

The EU reiterates its call in the Permanent Council of 7 September on the parties involved to refrain from further escalating the tense situation. Provocative statements by both sides after this latest circle of violence can only aggravate the volatile situation on the ground.

The continuing violence risks jeopardizing the attempts by the international community to improve the situation and to help resolve the conflict peacefully. We urge the parties to exercise restraint, make best use of the JCC meeting in Tskhinvali and concentrate now first and foremost on confidence building measures for which conditions were created at the successful donors' conference of last June.  

We urge the parties once more to fully comply with the commitments made to achieve a peaceful settlement, on the basis of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia, EFTA countries Iceland and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this statement.

* Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process