Russia sends the UN mission packing from Georgia-Abkhazia


Moscow has vetoed a Western-backed resolution to extend the UN mission to Georgia. Russia voted against the measure at a meeting of the UN Security Council in New York.

Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, gave his reaction.

“Many colleagues talked about the territorial integrity, it's a very important principle. But one interesting thing: I don't remember how many meetings of the council we have held after the August 2008 events, have those who support the territorial integrity condemn the aggression of Georgia against South Ossetia. Nobody mentioned even once. That is an oversight that became one of the reasons why our work on the resolution ended,” Churkin said, stressing that Moscow regretted the outcome.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also expressed his regrets.

New geopolitical realities

Earlier, Russia received the text of the draft resolution from its partners on the Security Council, but later said it could not accept it in its current form. The reason was that the draft, which is likely to be put to the vote on Monday, still refers to the region as “Georgia,” and does not recognize that Abkhazia has become a sovereign state.

Another reason is that the resolution referred to a resolution that was adopted long before August 2008, the month Georgia began a military offensive in South Ossetia. After the violence, both Abkhazia and South Ossetia declared independence. Both were soon recognized by Russia as independent states.

Russia is insisting that unless these new geopolitical realities are recognized by the Security Council and reflected in the new resolution, the document will not be passed.

“I was quite surprised by one comment, which was made by one colleague at today’s consultations, when he was arguing in favor of retaining this reference to the resolution 1801. He said, ‘The only saying which changed since April 15 was Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.’ The thing which changed since then was not our recognition. It was Georgian aggression against South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which made their living together impossible and which brought all this sequence of events,” Churkin said earlier.

“So, we cannot keep inserting those resolutions that date back to before the birth of Christ into the new resolutions. This is not acceptable,” he added.

Still, Western members of the Security Council look set to put the controversial resolution to the vote.

Source: Russia Today




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