2 October 2008 - NATO PA President José Lello “profoundly concerned” by Russian actions in Georgia
Assembly President José Lello (Portugal) has voiced his deep concern after witnessing Russian forces taking control of more Georgian territory.
Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashvili (left) and NATO PA President, José Lello (right)
President Lello was speaking on his return from leading a visit to
In addition to holding meetings in
“Our meetings in
President Lello then recounted the group’s experience at Akhalgori where members witnessed a standoff between Russian forces and those of the Georgian interior ministry. Russian forces had advanced from their checkpoint to a Georgian position and told the Georgian forces to withdraw.
“When we arrived, the situation was very tense. The Russian soldiers were inside the Georgian position and Georgian forces were waiting for orders to withdraw or stay in place. Meanwhile, additional Russian forces moved forward from their checkpoint up to the Georgian position. This was on Wednesday 1 October, the day that EU observers were deployed and Russian forces should have been preparing to vacate their buffer zones by 10 October. What we saw was a further advance of the Russian positions. This can only be viewed with profound concern.”
“I sincerely hope that
The participants in the visiting group were:
José LELLO (Portugal), President
Karl A. LAMERS (
Jan PETERSEN (
Michael CLAPHAM (
Julio MIRANDA CALHA (
Assen AGOV (
Michael MATES (
Jean-Michel BOUCHERON (
Meetings also took place with George BARAMIDZE, Vice-Prime Minister of Georgia and State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration; Eka TKESHELASHVILI, Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs; Alexander LOMAIA, Secretary of the Security Council of Georgia; and Temur IAKOBASHVILI, Georgian State Minister for Reintegration. The group also met several other governmental and parliamentary figures, including members of opposition parties. The visited was hosted by Nikoloz RURUA, Deputy Chairman of the Defence and Security Committee, the Head of Georgian delegation to NATO PA.
Assembly President, José Lello (second from Left) andMr Giorgi Targamadze, President of the Defence and Security Committee of the Georgian Parliament (centre) speak with Russian soldiers posted at the Russian checkpoint at Akhalgori.