At a recent meeting of the U.N. the Ukrainian delegation to the United Nations discussed the situation in the occupied territories of Georgia (Abkhazia and South Ossetia).
The permanent representative of Ukraine to the U.N. Volodymyr Yelchenko invited the members of Security Council to express the positions of their countries to clarify the views about the process of “absorption” of the Abkhazian and South Ossetian armed formation by the Russian Army. Besides, he called a referendum on the topic of changing the name of South Ossetia.
According to RFERL, about 78% of voters supported the idea of changing the region’s name to the Republic of South Ossetia-Alania.The United States, the European Union, and Georgia claim that the results of the opinion poll of April 9 were illegitimate and that they would not recognize it. In the official statement, the Georgian Foreign Affairs Ministry said the name-change referendum “aims at laying the ground for its illegal annexation”.
“Russia violates the Ceasefire Agreement of August 12, 2008. We urge the Russian Federation to withdraw its troops from the occupied territories and to create conditions for the involvement of international security mechanisms and restoration of territorial integrity of Georgia,” Ambassador Yelchenko proclaimed.
Kyiv’s draft proposal was comprised of two paragraphs:
- The security Council will consider the situation in Georgia.
- It implies about the necessity of the integrity and sovereignty of that country. But Russia, as a permanent member, on its part, used its hierarchical position to block the discussion of the issue.
The attempt to raise a question against Georgia’s territorial integrity at the UNSC caused a sharp reaction from Moscow (News.ge, March 31). The Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry declared that Tbilisi was trying to take advantage of the fact, that Ukraine had the status of a temporary member of the U.N. Security Council.” Earlier, Peter Ilichev ,the representative of the Russian Federation to the U.N., said that against the backdrop of the situation in Syria, “it was not worth distracting the attention of the UNSC to the situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.”
Georgian Politicians and foreign policy experts believe that Ukraine’s recent U.N. Security Council initiative was rived by the attempt of Kyiv “play along” with Tbilisi.