Russian move ensures safety of breakaway Georgian regions, UN hears

27 September 2008

The security of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia could only be guaranteed by recognizing their independence, Russia told the General Assembly today, voicing its disapproval of the “unipolar world ideology” that it said had contributed to the August conflict.

Last month’s recognition move taken by Russia “was the only possible measure to ensure their security and the very survival of their peoples,” Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov said on the fifth day of the Assembly’s annual high-level segment.

In the wake of the September 2001 attacks on the United States, the world has witnessed the use of mechanisms associated with a unipolar world order that eschews genuine cooperation, he said.

“The illusion of a unipolar world confused many. For some people, it generated a desire to make an all-in stake on it. In exchange for total loyalty they expected to receive a carte blanche to resolve all their problems by any means,” he said.

“The all-permissiveness syndrome that they developed went rampant, out of all possible control, on the night before 8 August when the aggression was unleashed on South Ossetia.”

That attack against civilians and peacekeepers “trampled under foot all settlement agreements, thus putting an end to the territorial integrity of Georgia,” the Foreign Minister told delegates.

He called for the implementation of the six-point plan agreed to between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, which includes a commitment by all parties to renounce the use of force; the immediate and definitive cessation of hostilities; free access to humanitarian aid; the withdrawal of Georgian forces to their places of permanent deployment; and the convening of international discussions on lasting security arrangements for Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The other principle stipulates the withdrawal of Russian forces to their lines of deployment before 7 August, and includes the additional provision that Russian peacekeeping forces may implement additional security measures pending the definition of an international mechanism.

But Mr. Lavrov expressed concern that putting the plan into action will be undermined “by the attempts to rewrite it post factum to please Tbilisi.”

The conflict in Georgia calls attention once gain to the danger of addressing problems in the blind folds of the unipolar world,” he said. “The price we have to pay in lives and destiny of people is too high.”


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