Remarks to the Press by Charge d'Affaires of the Russian Federation Dmitry Polyanskiy before UNSC briefing on Georgia under ‘AOB format’
Let me draw your attention to the fact that unfortunately our Western colleagues once again raised in AOB format the question of events in Tskhinval in 2008. We consider that this is only their phantom pain and that independent Abkhazia and South Ossetia is the reality which cannot be ignored. I'm quite sure that our Western colleagues will also approach you today after the meeting, and they will draw your attention to the alleged effects of so-called Russian aggression, which in fact does not exist.
I want to stress that the cooperation between Russia, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia long ago became a stabilizing factor at South Caucasus and we don't see any role of UNSC in this region. We consider it important that Georgia, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia continue discussions in Geneva for finding a legal formula for their mutual commitments on non-use of force and for resolution of other urgent matters. It should become a reliable guarantee of non-recurrence of Georgian military adventures, which were directly or indirectly encouraged by some of our Western partners in 2008.
The criminal acts that were committed by the Saakashvili regime like bombing of the sleeping Tskhinval should not repeat. We want to express our concern with the continued policy of Tbilisi for accelerated Euro-Atlantic integration, as well as this country joining the US and NATO plans on containment of Russia. To conclude that, I would like to stress that in Russia we have always distinguished between the criminal regime of Mikhail Saakashvili and the Georgian people.
We are ready to establish normal relations between our two countries to the degree to which the Georgian side is ready to that. And we also hope that common sense will prevail in Tbilisi and our Georgian partners will build relations with their neighbors, taking into due respect the balance of interests.
Q: That attack on that tanker in the Gulf area, do you think this is a matter that the Council should address and when will it happen?
A: We're still studying the details. There is a lot of conflicting information, a lot of “highly likely” analysis, which we totally reject. So we need to establish facts. We need to see and we don't need to rush to any conclusions or actions without having proofs of what has happened.
Q: Given the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, does Russia think it's time for more UN involvement in the country? Would you support a stronger role for the United Nations in peace talks, for example?
A: We think that it's first of all time for Afghans themselves to sort out all the difficulties and to understand what they want from their country and how they want it to develop. I think that's the priority right now.
Q: Are they capable of doing that right now when they're fighting against each other?
A: Don't you respect Afghans? I think they are wise people and they will find a solution.
Q: On two other hotspots in the news. Do you foresee any Council discussions on Myanmar or on Tigray?
A: We discussed this issue recently. I know that as far as Myanmar is concerned, there will be a number of very important meetings of ASEAN this month. We are very eager to learn the results and we think that ASEAN should be playing the priority role in helping the Myanmar parties to come to a solution. That's why this is the way we analyze this event
Tigray, of course, is preoccupying again. We are seeking to get more information. We have some information from the Ethiopian government, from elsewhere. So we are analyzing all this and in due course, we may address this issue if necessary.