‘Send peacekeepers to Georgia’: Bildt

'Send peacekeepers to Georgia': Bildt
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has said he would welcome international peacekeepers in the Georgian breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Pointing out that the European Union peace plan for Georgia speaks of a forthcoming “international mechanism” in the country, Bildt said “that could conceivably mean international peacekeeping forces in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.”

“I would welcome that,” he told a joint press conference in Stockholm on Friday with his Georgian counterpart Eka Tkeshelashvili.

He cautioned however that Russia might try to block such a move, since it would need a United Nations Security Council decision.

“Your guess is as good as mine if Russia would allow international forces into these areas,” he said.

Russian actions, “especially since Tuesday, when they took the momentous historical step of starting to question the borders of the ex-Soviet republics,” did not give rise to optimism however, he said.

Speaking of expectations for Monday’s emergency EU summit on the conflict in Georgia, Bildt followed other European countries’ lead and ruled out that sanctions would be implemented against Russia.

“I’ve never been a friend of sanctions, and I think the Russians are making so much damage to themselves that I don’t want to add to that,” he said.

The most important thing on Monday would be to show full support for Georgia, he said.

“There are those that want to destroy Georgia. That is something that is directed against, at the end of the day, the security of all of Europe. That is not acceptable,” he said.