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Russia Wants UN to Call on Tbilisi to Sign Treaty on Non-Use of Force
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 9 Jul.'08 / 10:49

The Russian delegation proposed on July 8 to the UN Security Council a draft resolution calling for the immediate signing of an agreement on the non-use of force between Tbilisi and Sokhumi.

“It has been the Georgian side, which is reluctant to put its signature to such an agreement,” Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s UN ambassador, told journalists on July 8. “At this point, we believe that it [the signing of the treaty] is an absolute must if we are to hope to see some political progress and restoration of trust.”

He also said that the Russian-proposed draft resolution was “brief, but very clear” which also demanded that the two sides exercise restraint and that Tbilisi follow its commitments under the 1994 Moscow agreement on ceasefire and separation of forces and pull out its forces from the upper Kodori Gorge.

Russia’s draft resolution also calls on the sides to respect the work of the UN observers and Russian peacekeepers on the ground and also to respect the existing negotiations formats, Churkin said.

“Colleagues on the Security Council asked to be given some time to study our draft, so we expect that consultations will take place tomorrow [July 9], but we also hope that the Security Council will be able to move fast on this draft resolution,” he added.

In a statement on July 9 the Russian Foreign Ministry blamed the Georgian side for triggering increased tensions in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Four people were killed and six wounded as a result of a blast in Gali on July 6. At least twelve people were injured in explosions that occurred in Gagra and Sokhumi on June 29 and June 30, respectively.

Churkin said that he had reason to believe that the blasts in Abkhazia were “of Georgian origin.”

President Saakashvili said on July 8 that he was “deeply concerned” by the recent explosions in Abkhazia. Pointing the finger at Russia, Saakashvili said that tension was in the interests of those who wanted to derail Georgia from the path of economic growth and Euro-Atlantic integration.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also said in the statement on July 9: "Tbilisi's actions represent a real threat to peace and security in the South Caucasus, capable of taking the region to the brink of a new armed conflict with unpredictable consequences."

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