Lavrov: UN Security Council talks on drone shooting "senseless"
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday it was "senseless" for the UN Security Council to address Georgia's accusation that Russia shot down its spy plane without hearing from Georgia's rebel region of Abkhazia, which claims responsibility, reported dpa.
"Without Abkhazia, tackling this problem is senseless. To refuse Abkhazia participation in these talks suggests something dirty about these proceedings," Lavrov was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying Friday.
Lavrov said Russia, a permanent member who wields a veto in the Security Council, had asked western diplomats to invite Abkhaz leaders to the talks without success.
The Security Council is set to discuss the conflict Friday following a report by UN investigators that corroborates Georgia's claims based on radar shots and video footage from the downed drone.
But Russia points to leaders of the autonomous rebel region who said they shot down the spy plane on April 20, and counters that Georgia's reconnaissance flights over Abkhaz territory breach the UN ceasefire agreement that ended civil war in 1994.
Frayed relations between Tbilisi and Moscow hit crisis point after Moscow moved last month to strengthen diplomatic ties and increase its peacekeeping troops in Abkhazia, where most residents have been issued Russian passports since 2000.