Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2008-09-01-Speech-1-136"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I represented you in Georgia when I was sent there by our President from 12 to 17 August. I gave our full support to the Georgian people and reassured them by saying that the European Union would not abandon them. I therefore thank the Presidency for the efforts that were made to act very quickly in Georgia. Resolving this conflict is clearly a test for the European Union to which it has finally responded, but at what price? At the price once again of innocent citizens because these events were in fact inevitable. How long have some of us been preaching in the wilderness? Even those who are today saying that we must aim for integration and offer the prospect of accession to the European Union previously said to us: ‘wait, be reasonable’. Now we have a war between Russia and Georgia. When we said that this was not a conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but that it was a conflict between Russia and Georgia, no one wanted to listen. Now we have one war behind us. Therefore these events were inevitable, particularly if you go back to other events or other times before the 11th. Let us go back to 2005 when Russia vetoed having border guards on the Russian-Georgian border. No one replied and even France – please excuse me Mr President – even France refused when we called for OSCE forces on the border. No one reacted. When the Russians violated Georgian airspace, we again had no response and the situation escalated. Now this regrettable war has occurred and we must not only rebuild, but also resolve the conflict. Of course we must have a conference on reconstruction, but we must also have a conference to resolve the conflict. I would ask you perhaps to use what happened in Kosovo as a model, in other words to put in place an international civil administration, together with peacekeeping forces. What Georgian citizen could now agree to the Russian army playing the role of policeman?"@en1

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