US Supports UN Mission’s Report on Abkhazia: US Diplomat

Politics Materials 28 May 2008 14:15 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 28 May / corr Trend A.Gasimova / The United States supports the UN Mission Report in the Georgian-Abkhaz region conflict, making responsible Russia for shootdown of unarmed Georgian UAV.

"The U.S. notes that the UNOMIG report of the April 20 shootdown of an unarmed Georgian UAV affirms our own conclusion that a Russian Su-27 or MiG-29 was responsible for this hostile action, which clearly violates the 1994 Moscow Ceasefire Agreement, " Matthew Bryza, the US Assistant Secretary of State, told Trend

On 26 May the UN Military Supervisors Mission in Georgia has released the statement that on 20 April the Georgian research unarmed aircraft was crashed by the military aircraft MIG-29, or SU-27, which later disappeared in the Russian territory. However, Russia denies this fact.

On 27 May the Georgian Foreign Ministry said Tbilisi "categorically demands from the Russian Federation to make an official apology for the act of aggression directed against Georgia, ensure appropriate compensation for the material loss. Meanwhile, Russia denied these accusations. "Any violation of state border with Georgia is impossible. Furthermore, on 20 April the military airplanes of Russia did not fly in this direction," Alexander Drobishevskiy, official of the Russian Defense Ministry, said.

" Moscow should reverse some of its recent provocative steps in Abkhazia and support direct talks between Abkhaz and other Georgian leaders to de-escalate military tension and advance a promising new peace initiative," Bryza said to Trend via e-mail on 28 May. It is now time to move forward, the US diplomat said.

A United Nations report Monday cited witnesses, radar shots and video footage from the drone as proof of Georgia's claims, but Russia says Abkhaz rebels were responsible for the shooting, a claim corroborated by the Abkhaz leadership.

On 20 April the Abkhaz air defense forces terminated an unarmed Georgian UAV of Georgia in its territory. "We have repeatedly warned Georgia and demanded to cease the spy planes over the territory of Abkhazia. All Georgia military planes will be hence terminated," Sergey Bagapsh, the Abkhaz leader, stated then.

After the collapse of USSR Abkhazia and South Ossetia, holding autonomous status within the Georgia SSR, stated on their independence. Following the armed conflict, which resulted in loss of Tbilisi's control over this territory, unsuccessful talks were carried out. Tbilisi offers them large autonomy within Georgia, which does not suit the separatists.