(RIA Novosti) - Russia submitted Tuesday a draft resolution on Georgia to the UN Security Council, urging the international body to insist on the withdrawal of Georgian troops from the Kodori Gorge.
"We have just submitted a draft resolution on Georgia to the UN Security Council, while recalling a draft statement of the Security Council's chairman," Russia's envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin said. "The resolution is an even stronger instrument to influence the situation."
Russia had previously sought UN action amid an "espionage" scandal with Georgia last week. Tbilisi released four Russian officers it had charged with spying on Monday, but the row between the two former Soviet republics is continuing. In particular, Moscow is refusing to lift a temporary ban on travel and postal links with the South Caucasus country, reports Trend.
The draft resolution contains demands that Georgia honors all its international obligations, including recognition of the peacekeeping mandate of the CIS peacekeeping contingent.
Russia has also urged Georgia to abandon its plans to establish the pro-Georgian so-called Abkhaz government in exile in the Kodori Gorge, the de facto border between Tbilisi-controlled territory and breakaway Abkhazia, and conduct other actions that could jeopardize the resolution of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict.
The Kodori Gorge in northern Georgia, which is controlled by Abkhazia in its lower half and Tbilisi in its upper, has been at the center of renewed tensions between Tbilisi and unrecognized Sukhumi since late July, when Georgia conducted what it called a police operation there to disarm a rebellious militia leader.
Russia asked the UN Security Council to prolong the mandate of its peacekeepers in breakaway Abkhazia until April 15, 2007. The Security Council will consider the mandate issue on October 6 after Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili demanded Russia's complete withdrawal from the conflict zone in his address to the UN Security Council in September.
West-leaning Saakashvili, who came to power on the back of the 2003 "rose revolution" and has since pushed for NATO membership, has consistently sought to remove Russian peacekeepers from Abkhazia and the zone of another conflict with breakaway South Ossetia. He has also called for Russian troops to be removed from two Soviet-era bases before a 2008 deadline agreed by the two nations. Russia says it needs to maintain the withdrawal date to ensure it avoids repeating the mistakes of the 1990s, when it pulled out soldiers from across the ex-communist bloc in eastern Europe only to find it had no accommodation for them.
Russia also called on the UN Security Council to reaffirm the important role played by CIS peacekeepers and condemn Georgia's moves against them.
"This development of the situation could lead to increased tension in the conflict zone with unpredictable consequences," the draft document said.
Russian diplomats said they believed experts would finish the work on the draft resolution in a week and the document could be submitted for an open vote at a UN Security Council meeting next week.
The bloody conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia erupted in the early 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union. A ceasefire agreement introduced peacekeeping troops from the former Soviet republics, including Russia, into the area.