Georgia Wants UN Security Council Session over Drone Downing
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 29 May.'08 / 20:44

Georgia has requested for UN Security Council meeting to discuss the April 20 incident, involving downing of the Georgian unmanned reconnaissance drone over Abkhazia, which UN observers said was shot down by the Russian fighter jet.

“We have addressed the UN Security Council presidency to convene a Security Council meeting, we hope that today the decision will be made at the Security Council to hear this issue and listen to the Georgian side at this meeting. Hopefully the Russian Federation will not block the discussions at the Security Council,” Irakli Alasania, the Georgia’s ambassador in UN, said on May 29.

Vitaly Churkin, the Russia’s UN envoy, said that although Russia was not against of the session, Moscow wanted the Abkhaz side to be represented at the meeting as well.

Irakli Alasania, however, said in a response that Russia’s this proposal was “fundamentally infringing existing arrangements under the UN-led Geneva peace process.”

“I can hardly imagine this institution allowing the representatives of the separatist insurgents, who are implicated and who are perpetrators of the ethnic cleansing to be present at this international forum,” Alasania said at a new conference in New York. “Frankly I also think that it is not in the best interests of the Russia to set this kind of precedent, because then the questions arise why can’t other representatives of the separatist movements being allowed at the UN forums.”

“So I think it is really time for the Russian Federation’s delegation in the UN to drop using this leverage at the Security Council and sabotaging the Security Council meeting because of this reason.”

He also said that downing of the Georgian drone by the Russian fighter jet, which had been confirmed by the investigation conducted by the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) was “an aggressive military act” that had further undermined Russia’s role of mediator and facilitator.

In its findings UNOMIG also noted that it considered “a reconnaissance mission by a military aircraft, whether manned or unmanned, constituted ‘military action’ and therefore contravened the Moscow Agreement [on ceasefire and separation of forces].”

Irakli Alasania, however, said that Tbilisi did not considered overflights of the unmanned, unarmed reconnaissance drones over the conflict zone as violation of the Moscow agreement, because it was Georgia’s sovereign right to observe and monitor its territory and “illegal movement” of the Abkhaz and Russian forces.

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