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Official: Russia May Block Extension of UN Mission in Georgia
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 23 Dec.'08 / 18:39

Russia may also veto extension of UN observers’ presence in Georgia after it had already blocked extension of OSCE mission’s mandate, Alexander Nalbandov, the Georgian deputy foreign minister, said on December 23.

“Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Hence, it can simply veto a resolution [on extension of UNOMIG mandate], as a result of which the UNOMIG [UN Observer Mission in Georgia] will stop functioning in Georgia,” he told journalists on December 23. “The talks are underway to avoid such a development”

“We still hope that it will be possible to find a solution, which will be acceptable for all sides,” he added.

Like in case of OSCE mission, which among other things was dealing with the South Ossetian conflict, Russia is also pushing for having separate, independent UN mission in Abkhazia, which will not be linked with UNOMIG headquarters in Tbilisi.

In October, the UN Security Council agreed on technical four-month extension of UN mission’s mandate, till February 15. The text of resolution does not even mention the mission’s official name – UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG).

In early October, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in his report to the Security Council about the situation in Abkhazia that with the August war the UN mission’s future role was unclear.

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