Emergency UN meeting: Georgia


Summary

Georgia has urged the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting on "an act of aggression" by Russia.

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Georgia says it has "incontrovertible evidence" that Russian jets launched a missile near the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

Georgia's Charge d'Affaires Irakli Chikovani also urged the United Nations, Russia, the European Union and other international organisations to investigate and verify "this unprovoked use of force against Georgia."

Russia's air force has flatly denied that its planes crossed into Georgia's airspace.

Mr Chikovani says radar records compatible with NATO standards showed two Russian Su-24 jet had flown more than 75 kilometres into Georgian airspace on Monday before launching a precision-guided missile, which landed near a house but did not explode.

A day earlier another military aircraft, most likely an Su-24, also violated Georgian airspace "from the Russian side."

'Violation of Charter'

Georgia considers the incidents to be a violation of the UN Charter provisions against the use of force and "an act of aggression" under a 1974 UN General Assembly resolution on the definition of aggression, Mr Chikovani says.

"My country as a responsible democratic state cannot tolerate such offences against our citizens and sovereignty," he says.

Mr Chikovani met with the Security Council president – the Republic of Congo's deputy ambassador, Pascal Gayama – to seek an emergency meeting of the council.

Gayama is expected to consult other council members on the request tomorrow, UN spokesman Yves Sorokobi says.

Georgia has long accused Russia of trying to destabilise the country and of backing separatists in its breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which President Mikhail Saakashvili has pledged to bring back under central government control.

<b.Russian UN veto

Asked whether the council was the right venue for action given that Russia is a permanent member with veto power, Mr Chikovani says the Security Council is the body that deals with threats to international security.

"The common sense is that the UN Security Council has to tackle this matter which has threatened peace and security in my country, and we call on the United Nations to conduct its own investigation.

“I think Russian Federation has no arguments that would oppose the conduct of the investigation," he says.

"We demand the Russian federation take immediate action to conduct a timely and thorough investigation of this aerial bombardment, and provide an exhaustive explanation," he says.

Mr Chikovani was asked whether an act of aggression meant Georgia was in a state of conflict with Russia.

"We do not consider at this moment that we are in this status of conflict with the Russian Federation, but we are requesting from the Russian Federation to provide information and conduct the investigation by themselves and also to participate in the investigation that we were proposing to conduct," he says.

Provocation: UN

The United States, meanwhile, has called the suspected aerial rocket strike on Georgia a provocation, and says it is talking to Russia and Georgia to get to the bottom of the incident.

"There have been previous attacks and whoever was responsible for this particular attack, these sort of provocations need to end," says State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

"We are still doing the analysis. We have talked to the Georgians a little bit, we have also talked to Russians, both in Moscow and here, and we are still doing an analysis on the facts that we have," he explains.

The United States wanted all relevant parties to cooperate fully with the investigations by the Georgian government and the pan-European security watchdog, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation (OSCE), he says.

The OSCE called for "an inclusive investigation" with "participation of all implicated parties."


Georgia has urged the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting on "an act of aggression" by Russia.

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Georgia says it has "incontrovertible evidence" that Russian jets launched a missile near the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

Georgia's Charge d'Affaires Irakli Chikovani also urged the United Nations, Russia, the European Union and other international organisations to investigate and verify "this unprovoked use of force against Georgia."

Russia's air force has flatly denied that its planes crossed into Georgia's airspace.

Mr Chikovani says radar records compatible with NATO standards showed two Russian Su-24 jet had flown more than 75 kilometres into Georgian airspace on Monday before launching a precision-guided missile, which landed near a house but did not explode.

A day earlier another military aircraft, most likely an Su-24, also violated Georgian airspace "from the Russian side."

'Violation of Charter'

Georgia considers the incidents to be a violation of the UN Charter provisions against the use of force and "an act of aggression" under a 1974 UN General Assembly resolution on the definition of aggression, Mr Chikovani says.

"My country as a responsible democratic state cannot tolerate such offences against our citizens and sovereignty," he says.

Mr Chikovani met with the Security Council president – the Republic of Congo's deputy ambassador, Pascal Gayama – to seek an emergency meeting of the council.

Gayama is expected to consult other council members on the request tomorrow, UN spokesman Yves Sorokobi says.

Georgia has long accused Russia of trying to destabilise the country and of backing separatists in its breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which President Mikhail Saakashvili has pledged to bring back under central government control.

<b.Russian UN veto

Asked whether the council was the right venue for action given that Russia is a permanent member with veto power, Mr Chikovani says the Security Council is the body that deals with threats to international security.

"The common sense is that the UN Security Council has to tackle this matter which has threatened peace and security in my country, and we call on the United Nations to conduct its own investigation.

“I think Russian Federation has no arguments that would oppose the conduct of the investigation," he says.

"We demand the Russian federation take immediate action to conduct a timely and thorough investigation of this aerial bombardment, and provide an exhaustive explanation," he says.

Mr Chikovani was asked whether an act of aggression meant Georgia was in a state of conflict with Russia.

"We do not consider at this moment that we are in this status of conflict with the Russian Federation, but we are requesting from the Russian Federation to provide information and conduct the investigation by themselves and also to participate in the investigation that we were proposing to conduct," he says.

Provocation: UN

The United States, meanwhile, has called the suspected aerial rocket strike on Georgia a provocation, and says it is talking to Russia and Georgia to get to the bottom of the incident.

"There have been previous attacks and whoever was responsible for this particular attack, these sort of provocations need to end," says State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

"We are still doing the analysis. We have talked to the Georgians a little bit, we have also talked to Russians, both in Moscow and here, and we are still doing an analysis on the facts that we have," he explains.

The United States wanted all relevant parties to cooperate fully with the investigations by the Georgian government and the pan-European security watchdog, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation (OSCE), he says.

The OSCE called for "an inclusive investigation" with "participation of all implicated parties."