Mandate of Russian peace-keepers in Georgia will be extended?

In reply to the question regarding the status of the Collective peace-keeping forces in Abkhazia (a former Georgian autonomous area on the Black sea which self-proclaimed its independence from Georgia at the beginning of the 90s) after June 30 a diplomatic source in Moscow stated that the situation of legal vacuum around Russian peace-keepers in the zone of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict was unacceptable for Russia.

On June 30 the mandate of Russian peace-keepers in the zone of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict expires.

The RIA Novosti's interlocutor stated that "Russia never imposed on anybody the presence of its peace-keepers in Abkhazia. It was required by the parties in the conflict themselves and, first of all, by Georgia." The diplomatic source stressed that "we would be prepared to withdraw our servicemen if Georgia wished them not to be there. But in that case the Georgian leadership should take upon itself the responsibility for all consequences." The source reminded those present that the meeting of the UN Security Council to be held on July 31 would consider the issue of continuation of the mission of military observers of the international community in Georgia. The Agency's interlocutor stated that "they would not be able to remain there without our peace-keepers." According to his assessment, the other day Washington already supported the necessity to extend the mandate of the peace-keeping forces. A representative of the State Department made a corresponding statement. According to the diplomatic source, other members of the UN Security Council share this opinion.

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