On May 30 UN Security Council will 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.
Russian ambassador in the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said, according to The Associated Press, that his government wanted the Abkhaz side to be also present at the decision, but relented because it did not want to block all discussion of the incident.
“We expressed our disappointment that there is no possibility to discuss the Abkhazian side,” he said. “Without their participation it cannot be objective, full, comprehensive and serious.”
Irakli Alasania, the Georgian UN envoy, said earlier on May 29 that Russia’s proposal to invite the Abkhaz side at the UN 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.”
Georgia has demanded from Russia to make an official apology for “the act of aggression” involving downing of the drone over Abkhazia on April 20 and “an appropriate compensation for the material loss.”
Russia said that UN observer’s findings, saying that the drone was shot down by the fighter jet belonging to the Russian air force, was based on “questionable evidence.”
Meanwhile, Givi Targamadze, who chairs committee for defense and security in the Georgia’s outgoing parliament, said discussion of the matter at the UN Security Council was Georgian “diplomacy’s breakthrough.”