Russia tells UN its troops will stay in South Ossetia

Russia said Saturday its military forces will remain in the Georgian breakaway enclave of South Ossetia to protect ethnic Russians, while the United Nations said fighting has also spread to Abkhazia, another separatist province, dpa reported.

Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters following a closed-door session of the 15-nation Security Council that Moscow has political and humanitarian reasons to remain in South Ossetia. He claimed fighting since Thursday has killed some 2,000 civilians and made more than 30,000 refugees, many of whom had fled into Russia.

" Russia will not pull out," Churkin said. "In order for us to withdraw we have to make sure there won't be genocide there. This is a grave matter."

Churkin rejected calls for a ceasefire, saying it would not be the right solution while fighting was raging. He called instead for Georgian troops to withdraw from South Ossetia, saying the capital Tskhinvali has been destroyed by Georgian rocket fire.

"Several council members asked what the Security Council should do," Churkin said. " Georgia must withdraw from South Ossetia territory it took over in a military aggression, and accept the non- use of force agreement, which we have urged them to do in the past years."

Churkin also accused the council of falling behind in the events in Georgia and said some of its members, whom he did not name, were procrastinating on drafting a formal statement by the council regarding the fighting.

"Now the situation has come to another stage," Churkin said. "The key element is the withdrawal of Georgia from South Ossetia."

Council president, Ambassador Jan Grauls of Belgium, told reporters that the fast changing situation on the ground in Georgia would now make it difficult for the council to agree on a common position.

He said several council members called for a ceasefire, while other expressed grave concern over the fighting and its impacts on the civilian population.

The council was convened to discuss the situation and was told by UN special envoy for Georgia, Robert Mullet, that fighting has spread to Abkhazia, which has demanded secession from Tbilisi. Abkhazia, like South Ossetia, is inhabited by a sizable population of Russians and Moscow has maintained a peacekeeping there.

Mullet told the council that Abkhazia was mobilizing troops and had asked the small unit of 15 UN peacekeepers to pull out of the disputed Upper Kodori Valley, which it did on Saturday. The UN troops have moved to Sukumi where it is safer.

"There had been a marked escalation of military activities in South Ossetia and beyond and events on the ground had deteriorated in the past 24 hours," Grauls said.

"Because of the rapidly changing situation on the ground and given the nature of the conflict and bilateral consultations, it is regrettable to conclude that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to find a common ground for a statement by the council," Grauls said.

Grauls said the divided council still has a role to play and it will continue to assess the situation in the coming days.

The council on Friday began discussion aimed at issuing a common position, but Russia was opposed to any language in the draft statement that would call for parties in the conflict to renounce the use of force.

Saturday's closed-door session did not include Georgia's UN Ambasador Irakli Alasania, who on Friday urged the council to use its authority to end the fighting, saying his country was ready to negotiate a ceasefire if Russia would immediately withdraw its troops from Georgian territory.

Alasania accused Russia of mounting a "full-scale military invasion" of Georgia with tanks and combat troops, backed by airstrikes.

Moscow had accused Georgia of violating an agreement that ended fighting in South Ossetia in 1996 by attacking the breakaway region. South Ossetia had declared independence from Tbilisi, which opposed it, in the early 1990s following the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Georgia, a former Soviet republic, had been at odds with Moscow, charging it with interfering in its internal politics. Tbilisi has also been in conflict with Moscow over Abkhazia.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported this week that thousands of civilians fled South Ossetia for neighbouring North Ossetia-Alania, in Russia, while hundreds of others have fled to other parts of Georgia.

Georgia makes rapid progress on its commitments under Energy Community - Green for Growth Fund
Georgia makes rapid progress on its commitments under Energy Community - Green for Growth Fund
Turkey plans to increase trade turnover volume with Georgia
Turkey plans to increase trade turnover volume with Georgia
Significant number of people receive unemployment benefits in Georgia
Significant number of people receive unemployment benefits in Georgia
Loading Bars
Latest
Bitcoin rises by over 10% surpassing $52,000
One million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Romania
Czech Republic reports record breaking number of people hospitalized with COVID-19
WHO doesn’t recommend introducing Covid passports for now
Azerbaijan holds command training of troops of Nakhchivan garrison (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Azerbaijan reconstructs houses damaged during Second Karabakh War – Trend TV
Iran preparing for possible travel restrictions for Nowruz holiday
Iran's Health Minister expresses concern over spread of UK Coronavirus variant across country
Iran plans to release held up commodities from customs
Metallurgical production may increase in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan's foreign trade balance with Israel remains positive in Jan. 2021
Venezuela always supported Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity - Ambassador
Azerbaijan, Pakistan discuss areas of military cooperation (VIDEO)
Bio-smart pavilion ready for integration with Smart City project network - Azerbaijan Innovation Agency
Georgia makes rapid progress on its commitments under Energy Community - Green for Growth Fund
Azerbaijani State Customs Committee develops new portal for visualizing customs statistics
'Uzbekistan GTL' plant receives fuel gas for first time
All deals with corporate securities in Azerbaijan fell on secondary market - BSE
Most transactions on state securities in Azerbaijan accounts for primary market
Azerbaijan plans to expand geography of wine export
U.S. private payrolls rise less than expected in February
Prosecutor's Office talks details of mine explosion accident in Aghdam
Loan portfolio of trade and services sector increases in Azerbaijan
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price starts to rise in Iran
Azerbaijan announces net foreign assets of commercial banks for January
Croatian 'green energy' companies could contribute to dev't of Azerbaijani liberated lands
President Aliyev receives in video format delegation led by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of Pakistan (PHOTO)
Next equipment from India will be brought to Iran’s Chabahar port
Silk Way Technics company has been keeping aircraft flying safely for 15 years
Turkmenistan has potential to benefit from future co-op with EU
Uzbek currency rates for March 4
Azerbaijani, Italian FMs discuss prospects for comprehensive development of relations
Iran plans to increase mushroom production and exports
Growth of trade turnover observed between Turkey and Uzbekistan
Azerbaijan's experience of implementing 'smart' projects to be presented in Belarus
PayPal in talks to buy Israeli co Curv
Kazakhstan expects recovery of business activity in 1Q2021
Chief of Azerbaijani Aghdam's Irrigation Department heavily injured in mine explosion (PHOTO)
OPEC+ considers oil output roll over for April
Azerbaijani police officers find air defense systems left by Armenians in Fuzuli (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Kazakhstan's Home Credit and Finance Bank may face additional asset quality pressure
Iran's exports to Turkmenistan via railways increase
Turkish revenues from export of defense-related products grow
Turkey increases steel exports to Azerbaijan since early 2021
Turkey plans to increase trade turnover volume with Georgia
Hungarian Globalia Kft to support solar park creation in Kazakhstan
Significant number of people receive unemployment benefits in Georgia
Turkey attaches importance to Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey trilateral format of co-op - FM
Uzbek-Chinese JV to buy gas piston power station via tender
Azerbaijan’s PASHA Bank to continue to improve digital products
Fruits and vegetables make up majority of Azerbaijan's export of non-oil products since early 2021
EU to promote local entrepreneurship in Georgian Adjara
Georgia's Batumi sees decrease in real estate transactions
Number of apartment transactions down in Georgia's Tbilisi - Colliers International
Major Azerbaijani state companies' revenues from non-oil products' export up in Jan.2021
Belarusian Belavia Airlines extends suspension of flights to Turkmenistan
Sales of Iranian mining companies soar
Moody's unveils current account balance in Azerbaijan's GDP for 2021
Uzbekistan’s economic activity index drops significantly
French Senate interested in strengthening bilateral co-op with Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan enters list of world’s largest cotton producers
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for March 3
Russia's Rosselkhoznadzor allows imports of apples, tomatoes from some Azerbaijani enterprises
Bosnian journalist talks parallel between genocides in Srebrenica and Azerbaijani Khojaly
Azerbaijan confirms 161 more COVID-19 recoveries
Approving FATF related bills in Iran's interest - Iranian President
No Mystery, Top American Pandemic Expert Lists 9 Govt Actions Behind Plummeting Covid Cases in India
Georgian VTB Bank to maintain adequate capitalization with RAC - S&P Global Ratings
Union of OIC News Agencies and ICD through THIQAH sign MoC to enhance cooperation in media field
Azerbaijan shares data on 2020 int'l cargo transportation by rail
Kazakhstan Railways opens tender for equipment repair
Georgian citizens can enter Turkey only if they have negative PCR test
Demand for notes of Azerbaijan's Central Bank surpasses supply
Moody’s says Azerbaijan’s economy to grow in 2021
Over 14 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in India: Government
India's women scientists breaking barriers in space exploration
Number of Mastercard products and operations increases in Azerbaijan
Crucial lessons to be learnt from Covid-19 outbreak
India's oil demand set to hit record high as recovery from Covid sets in
UK To Receive 10 Million AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine Doses From India: Report
Iran expects the US to take serious steps toward JCPOA
Biden appoints Indian-American Maju Varghese as Director of White House Military Office
India to invest $82 billion in port projects by 2035: PM Modi
Zarif announces mechanism of returning Iran's funds blocked in S.Korea
Indian Air Force arrives for participation in 70th SLAF Anniversary
Former Nepal PM thanks India for COVID-19 vaccines
India to deliver 1,000 metric tonnes rice, 1 lakh HCQ tablets to drought-hit Madagascar
Kazakhstan boosts locally-made goods export to Belgium
Development Bank of Kazakhstan expands support for renewable energy projects
Iran shares data on loaded and unloaded cargo at Noshahr port
Iran's Bandar Abbas Company attaches importance to domestic production of spare parts
Uzbekistan approves introduction of gender-responsive regulatory impact assessment system
Parliamentarians in some countries put their interests above ensuring peace - Azerbaijan's MFA
New OPEC+ deal likely to be more on Saudi terms
Iran's Bandar Abbas Oil Refining Company talks implementation of project
Turkmenistan resumes operation of number of trade facilities
Enterprises of Russian Bryansk region may start exporting goods to Azerbaijan
Iran's Expediency Council to choose one of several proposals on joining CFT, Palermo Conventions
Kazakhstan reports decrease in cargo transshipment via seaports in 2020
Iranian Home Appliance Industry Association discusses domestic production
All news