The Russian judge was unimpressed by both the technical merits and the artistic program of the UN resolution to extend the observation mission in Georgia’s breakaway provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. 0.0 all around, or GÃ©orgie, nul point.
Since 1993, UN observers had worked both sides of the lines to keep tabs on troop movements and other aspects of security in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia. With local tendencies toward explosions and pot-shots (see here, here, and the end of the page here), precisely the kinds of things that preceded last summer’s war, monitoring by a reasonably neutral group gives cooler heads a chance to prevail. Their current mandate expired last night at midnight, and the resolution would have kept this function going. The Security Council vote was 10 in favor, four abstaining (including China) and Russia exercising its veto.
“We need to get rid of this apparition [of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as parts of Georgia],” Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the council after casting the veto. “Our partners, however, prefer poison to medicine.”
Apparently that’s diplomatic language in
Putin’s Medvedev’s Russia.
[Churkin] had offered to extend the mission’s mandate for one month on condition that the Security Council agree to delete all the “offensive references” in the resolution to names and sovereignty
Because Abkhazia and South Ossetia are regarded as independent by Russia and the overwhelming majority of the international community that consists of Nicaragua.
Russia has also forced the end of the OSCE observation mission in Georgia.
The only governmental monitors left are those from the European Union. EU monitors, however, do not have a mandate that gives them access across the administrative boundaries. They can peer into Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but cannot go and see for themselves.
One fewer support for stability. It’s almost as if one major player isn’t interested in stability.