EU statement on South-Ossetia 18 July

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                                                      19 July 2006

                                                      ENGLISH only

                     Finnish Presidency of the Council of the European Union

                                                 Permanent Council No. 620
                                                       18 July 2006

                                 EU Statement on South Ossetia, Georgia

The European Union has learned with great concern about the incident in which high-ranking
Russian diplomats, both members of the JCC, were stopped by Georgian police on their way to
Tskhinvali. Such action can only be described as unacceptable.

The European Union is also concerned about the bomb explosion on 14 July 2006 in Tskhinvali in
which two young people died and others were wounded. We expect that those responsible will be
identified and brought to justice without delay.

The EU calls upon all parties involved to refrain from any action which risk escalating the already
tense situation. We also repeat our call that the Zemo Larsi border crossing be reopened as soon as

The EU regrets the delay of the meeting of the Joint Control Commission which was scheduled for
the 17 July in Tbilisi. We share the regret expressed by the CiO that the opportunity to resume a
constructive dialogue was not been taken. We also agree with the CiO that it is imperative that all
parties take the earliest possible opportunity to address jointly the pressing issues ahead. The EU
calls on all parties involved to pursue a constructive role towards peaceful resolution. To normalize
the situation and defuse tension, serious political dialogue between the parties is of utmost
importance, also paving the way for economic rehabilitation.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia 1 and the
former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process
and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, EFTA countries
Iceland and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this

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