Russia’s acting Permanent Representative to the United Nations Petr Iliichev fired back at Tbilisi over the United Nations Security Council’s discussion on Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions, saying that it harms the Geneva International Discussions (GID).
Commenting the UN Security Council’s closed door discussion on Abkhazia and South Ossetia on March 28, Petr Iliichev stated that the “situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia is not a conflict” and therefore, the Security Council “should not bother paying attention to it.”
Iliichev stated that it is “necessary to recognize the realities that have developed over the past eight years” and that “the state sovereignty” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, whose independence Russia recognized, “cannot become a subject of discussion.”
The Russian diplomat added that the Geneva format has proven to be useful “for resolving the differences between Georgia on the one hand and Abkhazia and South Ossetia on the other.”
“Georgia’s current undertaking,” however, Iliichev stated, “exacerbates the [already] apparent damage to the Geneva [International] Discussions, which is inflicted every year by the introduction of the politicized General Assembly resolution on refugees and IDPs.”
"Such steps have already made it impossible to discuss the problems in the humanitarian group of the Geneva [International] Discussions,” Iliichev also stated.
“If Georgia and its patrons will be pushing for the discussion of security issues in New York without the participation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Geneva [International] Discussions can be closed,” Iliichev concluded.
The Geneva International Discussions, the multilateral mediation forum co-Chaired by the EU, OSCE and UN, which was created after 2008 war to address security and humanitarian issues, involves representatives from Tbilisi and Moscow, as well as Tskhinvali and Sokhumi in their individual capacities.
GID was created at the initiative of the EU presidency as a format to mediate post-war security and humanitarian arrangements between Russia and Georgia. Moscow’s insistence to include representatives of Sokhumi and Tskhinvali meant that the GID was never held at the intended level of the meeting of the Foreign Ministers.