From the Jamestown Foundation: The remaining international presence in Georgia is that of the European Union’s Monitoring Mission (EUMM) since October 2008. Unlike the OSCE’s now-deceased mission, the EUMM is not subject to Russian veto power. The EUMM’s presence is crucial as a trip-wire and eyewitness to possible Russian or proxy military attacks. Russia bars the EUMM from the occupied territories, however, confining the mission to the Georgian-controlled side of the ceasefire line. The European Union treats Georgia’s territory as a single whole within the internationally recognized borders and has been seeking Russian consent to EUMM’s access over the ceasefire line.

When ministers of foreign affairs of the E.U., NATO, and OSCE member countries met on the island of Corfu on June 28, they raised this issue with their Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. French Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner told journalists, “I just asked for one millimeter of progress in giving the E.U. observers access to the other side of the line. It has not been accepted” (AFP, June 28). (photo: Jamestown Foundation)