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“A” Fell down – “M” Vanishing: What in Residuo?

Semi-GUAM Summit

07.07.2008 15:36

A GUAM Summit ended on July 1 in Batumi. GUAM is an organization established by Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Moldavia. Moldavian President Vladimir Voronin who sharply criticized GUAM this March, claimed that the activities of the organization give no tangible results, and did not come to the Summit but sent his Minister of Interior. The Summit was attended also by guests including Presidents of Poland Leh Kachinsky and Lithuania Valdas Adamkus as well as Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg.

A summit agenda included issues relating to economic and humanitarian cooperation as well as joint efforts in the sphere of security. Within the framework of these joint efforts it was expected to approve a ?control center? project prepared by the Ukrainian President?s Secretariat. A decision to establish this center was taken during informal meetings at the Energy Summit in Kiev this May in order to implement alternative schemes of energy supply to Europe to bypass Russia.

Besides the GUAM member-states, the center is expected to include EU representatives - Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland. The mission of this center will be ?to exercise supervision over the amount and quality of the Russian gas supplied via Ukraine to the EU countries?.

However, even on the eve of the Summit certain politicians expressed concern that the proposal of Ukraine to set up this supervisory body and GUAM efforts to establish control over gas transit may cause a serious scandal. In their opinion, such steps of the Ukrainian authorities may be hardly regarded as respectful attitude to Russia, which is a sole supplier of hydrocarbons to Europe. And what is the relation of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland to the transit of gas and its quality? It seems that the Russian gas smells ?big politics? which is directed against Russia itself and has nothing to do with the economic issues included in the agenda. The Summit failed, likewise the collusion against Russia failed too. But it looks like that the efforts of certain failing GUAM states to make ?an energy leg back trip? to Russia will continue. Observers believe that exacerbation of anti-Russian hysteria by Ukrainian and Georgian Russophobes will result in nothing good.

The GUAM leaders in their joint statement promised ?to jointly address common risks and threats? and confirmed ?their adherence to peaceful settlement of conflicts in the GUAM states pursuant to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity?.

But implementation of these guidelines becomes more and more difficult. And soon this question may be asked radically: Who will fulfill these guidelines? Today the meetings of the GUAM leaders may be hardly called a summit. What is a summit, which is not attended by all heads of state?