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EU Warns Georgia Of 'Unrealistic' Expectations

EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner with Georgian Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili in September (Courtesy Photo) BRUSSELS, October 25, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The European Union today warned Georgia the body's involvement in the region's "frozen conflicts" will remain limited.

Speaking in Strasbourg at a European Parliament plenary meeting, the Finnish Europe Minister Paula Lehtomaeki said Tbilisi wants greater EU participation in peace talks with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as peacekeepers.

These expectations, Lehtomaeki said, are likely to be "unrealistic."

"There are discussions going on currently within the EU about strengthening the EU's role, but Georgia?s expectations may be unrealistically high," she said. "The EU urges the Georgian leadership to have patience. Too quick decisions with regard to the South Ossetian and Abkhazian peace processes must be avoided, as they could endanger the presence of the UN and the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] in the region."

However, Lehtomaeki and the EU external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said they are "very concerned" about Russia's response to the recent tensions.

RFE/RL Caucasus Report

RFE/RL Caucasus Report

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