The Shanghai Cooperation Organization has failed to give Russia full
support for its actions in South Ossetia. VOA Moscow correspondent
Peter Fedynsky reports.
The summit of the Shanghai Cooperation
Organization, which groups China, Russia, and four other former Soviet
republics, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, concluded
with a declaration expressing deep concern of its members over recent
tensions in South Ossetia. It urged all sides to peacefully resolve
existing problems through dialogue.
While the statement voiced
support for what is described as Russia's active role in resolving the
conflict in Georgia, presidents of the SCO member states reaffirmed
their commitment to the principles of respect for historic and cultural
traditions of every country and efforts aimed at the unity of the state
and its territorial integrity.
Russia's recognition Tuesday of
South Ossetia and Abkhazia violated that principle, relying instead on
the competing notion of self-determination of peoples. Russian
recognition has been met with harsh criticism from the West.
a multi-ethnic state, which has its own concerns about secessionist
movements, issued a statement through its Foreign Ministry on Wednesday
recognizing the complicated history and realities in South Ossetia and
Abkhazia. Beijing has also called for all sides to resolve their
differences through dialogue.
No country has followed Russia's lead to recognize Abkhaz and South Ossetian independence.
support for territorial integrity follows a personal appeal by Russian
President Dmitri Medvedev to his fellow heads of state.
Medvedev says the conflict in Georgia is probably the most dramatic
episode of recent times. He said it was natural that he would again
explain to his SCO partners what really happened, because the picture
presented by Western media was, according to the Russian leader,
substantially different in terms of identifying the aggressor, and who
should bear political, moral, and legal responsibility for what
happened. He adds that SCO leaders were grateful to hear his remarks.
television had announced a news conference by summit participants would
be broadcast live, but viewers were told the event was delayed and
would begin shortly. Subsequently, the president of Tajikistan,
Emomali Rahmon was shown, live, announcing the news conference was
over. Russian television did not offer any explanation for the dropped
The United States and other Western nations are
calling for Russia to withdraw all of its troops from a controversial
buffer zone around South Ossetia, which gives Moscow a military
presence in undisputed Georgian territory.
France, which now
holds the European Union's rotating presidency, has called a special
EU summit meeting for Monday to discuss the Georgian crisis.
Speaking to reporters in the Tajik capital, Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov accused his French counterpart, Bernard Kouchner, of
having a sick and confused imagination for suggesting that Russia could
threaten Moldova, Ukraine and its Crimean peninsula.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization was established in 2001. It holds
annual summits to discuss trade and economic issues and also mutual
problems such as drug trafficking.