EU foreign ministers agreed unanimously that an international inquiry was needed into what led to the armed conflict between Russia and Georgia, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) reported.
“We were all together in favour of an international inquiry. No allegation, no provocation without proof: we have to know what happened,” Bernard Kouchner, the French foreign minister, who chaired the informal meeting in the French town of Avignon, said on September 6.
DPA quoted Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos as saying that the inquiry should take place “even if it hurts feelings.”
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said: “It's absolutely necessary to let in international observers who can give an objective assessment of what happened and what is going on. We all heard lots of rumors... so it's absolutely necessary that the objective international enquiry team can start work, but there is an issue that Russia won't let them in.”
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for an international investigation in an interview with Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, published on September 5.
He reiterated on September 6 that such an inquiry was needed “to find out who played what role in the escalation leading up to the armed conflict.” This was important, he said, “if we are going to think about how our relationship should develop with the conflict parties.”