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Moscow asks UN floor for Georgia's breakaway region

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MOSCOW, July 12 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow suggests that Abkhazia, a breakaway region in Georgia, should be given floor at the UN Security Council to present its case in the long-running conflict with Georgia, a senior Russian diplomat said Wednesday.

The statement came from Mikhail Kamynin, Foreign Ministry official spokesman, following a closed Security Council meeting July 11, which discussed the situation in Georgia. Georgian Parliament Speaker Nino Burdzhanadze made a statement about Russia's peacekeeping mission in Abkhazia, which Kamynin described as too harsh and critical.

"Unfortunately, attempts to put the blame for failure to settle the conflict on Russia have become a technique politicians in Tbilisi have used too often recently," Kamynin said. "Thereby, they are trying to shun responsibility for ongoing tensions in the zone of the conflict, which broke up when Georgia started military action there in 1992."

Abkhazia, one of the two remaining breakaway regions in Georgia, declared independence in 1992 following the collapse of the Soviet Union and Georgia moved to bring it back under its control. Russia sent its troops to the region to help stop the civil war and has since maintained a peacekeeping contingent there, along with Georgia.

Responding to Georgia's accusations that Russia backed separatism in the breakaway regions, Kamynin said that Russian peacekeepers had played a vital stabilizing role in the region acting in line with a relevant UN Security Council resolution.

He also said Georgia was consistently building up its military might spurring tensions with the breakaway territories. He cited a Swedish research center SIPRI report, which says the Caucasus state is the world leader in terms of military spending, having increased spending by 150% this year.

Kamynin said the UN had to hear both parties to the conflict to get an unbiased view of what is going on in the region.

"In other words, Abkhazia should also have an opportunity to set out its vision of the problem in New York," the diplomat said.

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