France has introduced a draft resolution at the U.N. Security Council,
seeking a solution to the current military crisis between Georgia and
Russia over the breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia. From
United Nation's headquarters in New York, VOA's Margaret Besheer
reports the council met late Monday afternoon -- its fifth meeting in
as many days on the situation.
France circulated a draft
resolution at the closed-door meeting. It calls for an immediate
cessation of hostilities; a return of Russian and Georgian forces to
pre-August sixth positions; and respect for the sovereignty,
territorial integrity and independence of Georgia. France's deputy U.N.
Ambassador Jean-Pierre Lacroix said the text also expresses strong
support for mediation efforts undertaken by the European Union and
OCSE or Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
is what we are discussing with both Georgia and Russia. We've had a
favorable reaction from the Georgian side, and we hope that there will
be equally responsive and favorable reaction from the Russian side," he
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said his delegation had
not been consulted about the draft as it was being written, and he had
only seen a copy briefly. Churkin said he felt the move was premature,
particularly as France's president will meet his counterpart in Moscow
on Tuesday. "I hope eventually there is an agreement, a resolution,
that is going to be worked out together with us, which will be adopted
unanimously, if need be, in order to resolve this situation. But I
cannot see us, let me tell you, accepting this French draft of the
resolution," he said.
The crisis in the Caucasus country has
strained relations between the United States and Russia. Diplomats at
the closed-door session said the U.S. ambassador again accused Russia
of trying to depose Georgia's president. For his part, the Russian
ambassador accused the United States of being a party to the conflict.
The United States is a staunch ally of Georgia, and on Monday, U.S.
President George Bush demanded that Russia end what he called its
"dramatic and brutal escalation" of violence in Georgia.
fighting erupted last week when Russian forces invaded South Ossetia in
response to a Georgian military operation against separatists. Russia
sent thousands of troops into the region and took over the South
Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali.