Another day of frantic phonediplomacy. Spent most of the day on the phone talking to colleagues in Europe, Russia and the US. Met Belgian Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht, who chairs the UN Security Council this month. Talked to the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon, as well.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which Finland happens to chair this year, has a key role in maintaining the ceasefire in Georgia. We are the only ones with staff, infrastructure and a mandate in the region.
That is why we have called for an additional 100 military observers to be let in to monitor the ceasefire. The negotiations in Vienna were concluded just before midnight. The Georgians and the Russians will be talking to their respective capitals overnight. Thumbs up.
I see things developing in three stages:
1. Decision on OSCE monitors to observe the ceasefire.
2. UN Security Council Decision.
3. International peacekeeping forces.
One thing is for sure. We are in this for the long haul. There are no quick fixes around.
The next 48 hours are crucial for the ceasefire. We need those monitors in there. The sooner the better.
I will participate in the Nato Foreign Minister meeting tomorrow in my capacity as Chairman in Offife of the OSCE. I will also meet the Foreign Minister of Georgia and Condoleezza Rice. In addition I have an OSCE Troika meeting with the Spanish and Greek Foreign ministers and an EU coordination meeting.
If everything goes well I will head to Tblisi by the end of the week to check out that the monitoring mission gets going according to plans.