War between Georgia and Russia: ‘everyone has lost’, dialogue now the only way forward

“There are no winners and losers in this conflict: everyone has lost,” said Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini, summarising her fact-finding report on the 2008 conflict in Georgia during a current affairs debate. “All parties to the conflict failed, there were terrible violations of humanitarian and human rights law, and both the threat and use of force have returned to European politics.” Dialogue at all levels was the only way forward, she said.

 Co-rapporteur on the conflict Mátyás Eörsi (Hungary, ALDE) agreed that Georgia, Russia and the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia were all losers from the conflict, but declared: “Europe can never approve a new Yalta.” 

The other co-rapporteur on the conflict David Wilshire (United Kingdom, EDG) said Europe risked finding itself with yet another frozen conflict. “PACE can only offer one thing: dialogue – dialogue to start confidence-building, dialogue to build trust,” he said.