Sweden to help monitor peace in Georgia

Sweden announced on Thursday it plans to send personnel and equipment to Georgia as part of an EU civilian observation mission.

The government expects the first Swedes to depart for the conflict-ridden Caucasus nation this week in order to help monitor the withdrawal of Russian troops.

“Providing Swedish personnel and equipment is an expression of Sweden’s commitment to peace and security in the Southern Caucasus. The Swedish personnel taking part in the mission will have an important task in building up the mission and providing reports about the situation on the ground,” said Minister for International Development Cooperation Gunilla Carlsson, Minister for Defence Sten Tolgfors and Minister for Justice Beatrice Ask in a joint statement.

A total of 25 Swedes will make the trip to Georgia with funding from Sweden’s development assistance budget.

The delegation is to include personnel from the Folke Bernadotte Academy, the Swedish Rescue Services Agency and the National Police Board.

The EU mission is expected to include around 230 people altogether.

Its primary task will be to observe, analyze and report on compliance with the ceasefire agreement between Russia and Georgia following the armed conflict in Georgia in August 2008.