The first Western minister to visit Tbilisi

The Dan­ish For­eign Min­is­ter, Per Stig Møller, has on sev­er­al occa­sions paid trib­ute to the French Pres­i­den­cy for its han­dling of the con­flict in Geor­gia and its abil­i­ty to dis­sem­i­nate between the two sides and put a hold to the fight­ing. Per Stig Møller believes that the French Pres­i­den­cy have secured a strong and cohe­sive EU.[1]

The Dan­ish Min­istry of For­eign Affairs has been very active in the con­flict of the Geor­gian break­away provinces. In the begin­ning of July, Per Stig Møller, was the first West­ern min­is­ter to vis­it Tbil­isi and the lead­ers in the province Abkhazia.[2] Den­mark was scep­ti­cal about the EU resum­ing nego­ti­a­tions with Rus­sia on a new eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal part­ner­ship agree­ment after the Russ­ian with­draw­al in Geor­gia. Per Stig Møller did not con­sid­er the peace agree­ment to be com­plied with by Rus­sia but, how­ev­er, agreed to resume talks with Rus­sia at the Euro­pean For­eign Min­is­ter meet­ing on 10 Novem­ber 2008.[3]

Dan­ish media dis­cus­sions tend­ed to focus on the threat posed to Den­mark via, for exam­ple, Russ­ian com­mer­cial pow­er in the ener­gy sector.[4] The EU response to the cri­sis involved the deploy­ment of an EU Mon­i­tor­ing Mis­sion (EUMM) with 340 staff from 22 mem­ber states in Geor­gia in Octo­ber 2008. Despite hav­ing an opt-out from EU secu­ri­ty and defence pol­i­cy, Den­mark was able to par­tic­i­pate in the EUM Geor­gia because it was an unarmed mon­i­tor­ing mis­sion.

 

 

 

[1] Erhvervs­bladet: Kro­nik: Frankrig for bor­den­den, by Per Stig Møller, 12 Sep­tem­ber 2008.
[2] Poli­tiken: Per Stig: Hvis Georgien var med i Nato, havde vi undgået kri­gen, 19 August 2008.
[3] Poli­tiken: Europa klar til helt nyt kapi­tel med Rus­land, 11 Novem­ber 2008.
[4] Julian Ish­er­wood: ‘Expert: Den­mark beware of Rus­sia’, Poli­tiken, 30 Sep­tem­ber 2008.