OSCE ALLAYS FAMINE

Author: Nikolai Filchenko

Parliamentary Assembly Recognizes Ukraine as Victim. (By Nikolai Filchenko. Kommersant, July 4, 2008, p. 6. Condensed text:) The annual session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe ended yesterday in Astana. . . .

The most controversial topics at this year's session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. .. were issues concerning the situation in Georgia and recognition of the Holodomor [famine] of 1932 - 1933 in Ukraine. Despite the fact that both problems were included on the agenda under "additional items," they were the ones that triggered the most heated debates among the delegates.

A resolution on Georgia, prepared by American Congressman Alcee Hastings, noted that the increase in instability in the region can be traced to "the decision of the Government of the Russian Federation to strengthen official ties with the secessionist regimes

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in the Abkhazia and South Ossetian regions" and to "the unilateral decision of the Government of the Russian Federation to move additional military personnel into the Abkhazia region of Georgia," as well as to the continuing issuance of Russian passports to residents of those regions. The delegates from Russia tried to contest those assertions, but the document, which urges Moscow "to refrain from maintaining ties" with the authorities in Sukhumi and Tskhinvali and also "to abide by OSCE standards and international norms to resolve conflicts," was passed by a majority vote.

The fact that discussion of the Holodomor in Ukraine would lead to more conflict was clear long before a resolution on this topic was put to a vote. The document, prepared by Ukrainian deputy Oleg Bilorus, "strongly encourages all parliaments to adopt acts regarding recognition of the Holodomor." The representatives of Russia and Kazakhstan objected to the resolution. "We must acknowledge that the Holodomor was not only in Ukraine, that Russians, Poles, Kazakhs and other peoples suffered in this tragedy," ...

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