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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Georgian War Report Delayed by 2 Months

A European Union report probing the causes of last year’s Georgia war has been delayed by two months because new documents were received just before the deadline, the report’s author said Wednesday.

The Geneva-based International Independent Fact Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia has investigated the conflict since late 2008 and will now issue its findings at the end of September, Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini said.

“Our mandate was to end with a report on July 31, but in view of a number of materials that were extremely relevant to our fact finding that arrived recently, so late as in the month of July, we requested an extension,” Tagliavini told reporters in Moscow.

Media reports, however, have linked the delay with fears of new tensions between Russia and Georgia in August, which marks the first anniversary of the war.

“No one wants to do anything that could raise the temperature in the region during a sensitive period. The investigators asked for more time and, frankly, that is convenient at a time when tensions in the region are, naturally, high,” London’s Daily Telegraph quoted a diplomat in Brussels as saying earlier this month.

Both Moscow and Tbilisi accuse each other of triggering the conflict, in which Georgian forces swept into the separatist-held, pro-Russian region of South Ossetia before being repulsed by Russian troops in a five-day war.

Russia then recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states. Only Nicaragua has followed Moscow’s lead.

Tagliavini said her small team of diplomats and researchers had received good cooperation from all sides in the conflict, including senior officials in Moscow, Tbilisi and in Georgia’s breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Her deputy, German diplomat Uwe Schramm, said members of their team had also held talks with officials in the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon.

Tagliavini declined to give any details on the likely direction of the report’s conclusions. (Reuters, MT)