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Easing one’s conscience in UN2009-07-29 23:20
While discussing the principle of the state responsibility for their citizens at the UN General Assembly, Georgia and Russia again exchanged accusations of ethnic cleansing. Tbilisian representative Alexander Lomaya got on his pet subject about the illegality of issuing Russian passports in South Ossetia. Moscow Ambassador Vitali Churkin answered: Russia saved Georgia from the "sin of another Srebrenica".
According to the UN radio, Russia and Georgia have accused each other of having carried "ethnic cleansing" last August. The two countries' representatives, Vitali Churkin and Alexander Lomaya met at the General Assembly for discussing the principle of "defense responsibility" adopted by the world leaders in 2005. It implies recognizing the states as responsible for the protection of their own population against genocide and other large-scale violation of the human rights; also, it demands reaction from the international community in case this obligation is not fulfilled.
The opponents of the "defense responsibility" principle believe that this could lead to unjustified interference into domestic affairs of an independent state. Georgia's Permanent Representative to UN Alexander Lomaya holds by the same opinion. He keeps representing his country as the victim of the "Russian aggression". During the discussion, he accused Russia of carrying out "ethnic cleansing in the course of a unilateral military intrusion" under the pretext of defending the people. According to him, the cleansing had been prepared in advance by large-scale issuance of passports to the citizens of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Well, one could remind the Georgians of the cleansings in 1990s and 2000s that forced the Abkhazians and Ossetians to obtain Russian citizenship and separate themselves from Georgia. However, Russia's Permanent Representative Vitali Churkin confined himself to giving an example of the last year events, for no one has got any doubts that the Georgian heavy artillery bombardment of the South-Ossetian towns and villages would have led to the destruction of the peaceful Ossetians.
According to Churkin, in this situation Russia behaved in the "only possible way", not even trying to "interweave its actions into the basis of the "defense responsibility" framework that has not been clearly defined yet". Several hours after Georgia's attack, the Russian army entered the territory of the severed republic, acting "on the grounds of Article 51 of the UN By-laws and exercising its right of self-defense when our peacemakers got under the fire of the Georgian troops".
As the Russian diplomat underlined, the soldiers were not the only point. How could Russia wait for the peaceful Ossetians - children, women and the old - to be shot in Tskhinval and the near-by villages? South Ossetia has already got enough mourning dates, such as the day of shooting the refugees on the Zar road. "We could not take the sin of another Srebrenica. That would have been the case if we had remained indifferent observers of the reckless crime committed by the Georgian regime", - Gazeta.Ru is quoting Russia's representative to UN.
Let us remind you that, according to the International tribunal's version, the Bosnia Serbs committed genocide of Muslims by shooting almost eight thousand unarmed men and teenagers in July 1995. Now the investigators are referring to the facts that partly justify and partly deny the crimes of Slobodan Miloshevitch's regime. However, it is already impossible to wipe the black spot out of Serbia's reputation.