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Excerpt from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Ministeral Council Meeting

Daniel Fried, Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia
Helsinki, Finland
December 5, 2008

"We don't know what's going on. And Russia has an obligation, since it controls these territories, to let in international observers. The purpose is to restore confidence and stability. We don't need more violence. We don't need a cycle of retaliations, tension, threats. That can end in a new catastrophe."

"It is important to get the OSCE observers into South Ossetia. There is no legitimate reason to keep them out. But at the same time the EU monitoring mission in Georgia which is larger, which has proven its effectiveness south of the administrative line, also needs to be able to operate north of the administrative line. There is no reason to keep them out either."

"Despite these disagreements, we want to work with Russia in a constructive and practical spirit to increase security. And that can happen really only if there are more monitors both OSCE and EU allowed in under rules and conditions that everyone understands."


Released on December 5, 2008

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