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UN Mission in Abkhazia: pros and cons2009-01-15 12:53
Georgia calls on the European community to take measures for continuous presence of the UN and EU monitoring missions in Abkhazia.
According to "New Region" official Tbilisi is discussing it with the Czech Republic, the EU chairing country in 2009. The point of the address is this: if Russia rejects extension of the UN mission mandate expiring on February 15 the EU observers must be brought to the conflict area.
Georgian leaders' concern is quite obvious. It will be remembered that a while ago, on January 1, the OSCE mission terminated its work in the country. Regardless of the attempts of the West and Georgia to prolong the organization's mandate Russia vetoed it. As the mandate format is out of date Sukhum and Tskhinval insisted on its modification demanding every international monitoring mission in the territory of these republics to be accordingly called missions in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The OSCE ignored these requests as it continues to consider both republics part of Georgia. And now there is apprehension in Tbilisi that this situation might occur again now in connection with the UN mandate.
"It is not impossible that Russia will demand such format modification that will be absolutely inacceptable to Georgia, - Irakli Menagarishvili, an expert, stated to GHN agency. - It will all be about creation of an independent mission in Abkhazia which would be equal to the UN Security Council's recognition of the republic's independence. Georgia will not agree to this decision. And apparently Russia will act as it did with the OSCE".
Can the international community prevent Russia's use of veto right?
Georgia's Parliament deputy Paata Davitaya proposes the following variant as quoted on Day.az: "We must do our best for Russia to be presented as a party to the conflict. In this case according to the UN Statute it will not be able to take part in the voting (on mandate extension)".
It should be mentioned that the idea's author is not Davitaya. In 2005 the Georgian leaders already proposed to consider Russia a party to the conflict in their aspiration to pull Russian peacekeepers out of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. But this idea was not supported in the West.
On the other hand the Georgian politologists' pessimistic forecasts might not come true, in fact. Sukhum's attitude to the UN monitors does not seem "negative" at all. On the contrary Abkhazia does not mind this mission working in the republic.