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UN Leaves Caucasus2009-06-16 17:01
The UN Security Council has not managed to approve the new draft resolution on the South Caucasus situation. The Russian part has put a veto on the technical extension of the mission mandate in the region, as it was based on the principles of Georgia's «territorial integrity». Now the organization observers must leave the zone of the Georgia vs. Abkhazia conflict.
The United Nations are saying good-bye to the South Caucasus after more than a fifteen-year story of the UN mission on the border between Georgia and Abkhazia. Yesterday the official Sukhumi had a serious and reasonable hope that in the UN headquarters of New York the geopolitical interests of large players will give place to considerations of peace and tranquility in the troublesome region. It should not have. According to Vitaly Churkin, a permanent representative of Russia in the UN, «Our partners have continued pursuing political chimeras, cites RIA Novosti. - They have preferred poison to medicine ».
Now the details. The Security Council session started with a group of seven countries bringing up a draft resolution on technical extension of the UN mission in Georgia and Abkhazia by two weeks. It is curious that the document contains direct allusions to the three latest resolutions of the Security Council on this subject. One of the was passed even before the events of August'2008 and confirmed the «territorial integrity» of Georgia. It is easy to imagine the reaction of the Russian part.
«This documents denies the existence of Abkhazia as a state, - ITAR TASS quotes Vitaly Churkin. - It is obvious we could not agree to it. Now there is new political reality in the region». The Russian diplomat stressed that the previous UN mission mandate practically terminated due to the Georgian aggression against South Ossetia last August and the subsequent withdrawal of Georgia from the Moscow Agreement on cease-fire and separation of forces of 14 May 1994. «The mandate extension is senseless as it is built on the old concepts, noted Churkin. - Only a new security regime on the border between Georgia and Abkhazia could guarantee non-aggression to Georgia's neighbours, promote stability and safety in this region».
The Russian part has made advances and proposed to UN a compromise variant of technical extension of the mission mandate. Moscow's initiative did not allude to the previous Security Council resolutions and extended the observers' mandate by one month, i.e. till 15 July. «Neither us nor Abkhazians like the idea of another technical extension, - Churkin commented on the draft. - The Security Council cannot use the technical extension drug and continue riding this horse endlessly. But we are ready to consider this idea provided that all politically unacceptable aspects will be removed».
By making significant concessions Russia apparently have the UN some time to develop a new mandate as there were grounds for this. As is known, the General Secretary of the organization Pan Ghi Mun described his vision of the new mission in Georgia and Abkhazia quite in detail in his May report on the South Caucasus situation. Both Moscow and Sukhumi made positive comments on the General Secretary's views. According to Vitaly Churkin, Russia's suggestion on technical extension of the mission perfectly complied with Pan Ghi Mun's recommendations and could become a realistic foundation for continuing constructive international co-operation based on the UN presence in the region. However, Moscow's initiative was rejected.