Herkel: Frozen conflicts must not be forgotten

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The so-called frozen conflicts must not be forgotten, the chairman of the monitoring committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Andres Herkel, said at a working meeting of the committee in Tallinn on Friday.

Herkel said the handling of the subject of so-called conflict regions tends to hit a wall because one of the parties, most often Russia, and Armenia in the case of the Karabakh conflict, is not interested in bringing up the subject. The monitoring committee held its last hearing on that in 2007. Herkel said it is important however not to let the topic pass into oblivion, spokespeople for the Estonian parliament said.

"Forgetting and the wish to make the international community acquiesce to the so-called new reality is the very strategy by which Russia, for instance, is trying to get Abkhazia and South Ossetia even more under its influence," the Estonian MP said, recalling the words of Vladimir Socor who has said that Russia, which was instrumental in the emergence of the conflicts, is now seeking to take on the role of peacekeeper and arbiter.

Herkel expressed regret that unlike the representatives of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova, the Russian members of the committee Leonid Slutski and Vyacheslav Fetisov were unable to attend the Tallinn hearing. "Unfortunately this too is a sign of unwillingness to solve these problems," he said.