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  Wednesday, August 5, 2020
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The United States is ready to support a Russian draft resolution on Georgia at the UN Security Council
The United States is ready to support a Russian draft resolution on Georgia at the UN Security Council, the Russian ambassador to the UN said Friday. Russia recently raised the issue of Georgia's "provocative actions" in its breakaway territories with the Security Council, but its initial draft resolution was rejected by the U.S. and Great Britain. Tensions between Russia and Georgia have escalated since a spying row in late September. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said he expected the document to be approved unanimously during the Friday session of the UN Security Council. He said the draft resolution "urges Georgia to abstain from provocative rhetoric and actions," and contained a demand on the joint patrolling of the Kodori Gorge, the only Tbilisi-controlled area in the breakaway province of Abkhazia, by a UN mission and Russian peacekeepers, which Georgia considered unacceptable. He also said Russia has demanded an extension of the mandate of its peacekeepers in Abkhazia until April 15, 2007. Churkin said Russia has submitted the second version of the resolution to the UN Security Council under conditions of "unusual pressure." "The new resolution is a compromise containing all the key positions of our first variant, but without any of the intemperate statements typical of the Georgian authorities," he said. The ambassador said Russia was informed Thursday that a number of U.S. amendments were introduced to the draft resolution, which was considered almost finished. He said Russia has agreed to the compromise, because the mandate of its peacekeepers in Abkhazia expired October 15. In its previous draft resolution on Georgia October 3, Russia proposed extending the mandate of the peacekeeping forces in the Georgia-Abkhazia conflict zone and urged Georgia to pull out troops from the Kodori Gorge, but U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton said his country would not support the document, which it considered unbalanced and unjust. On October 4, the alternative draft resolution was introduced by European members of the Security Council, the so-called Group of Georgia's Friends. A resolution adopted August 31 stressed the importance of close and effective cooperation between the military observers of the UN mission to Georgia and the CIS peacekeeping force as a key stabilizing factor in the conflict zone.
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