Vitaly Churkin told Vesti 24 television channel in an interview that under Resolution 1716, adopted in October 2006, Georgia should have scaled down its military presence in the Kodori Gorge, the de facto border with Abkhazia, which it has failed to do. Georgian authorities have also ignored provisions urging it to avoid military rhetoric, he said.
Churkin, who attended Tuesday's discussion on the long-standing Georgian-Abkhaz conflict at the UN Security Council's headquarters in New York, admitted, however, that some progress had been made toward implementing the resolution. Specifically, UN and Russian peacekeepers have resumed regular monitoring of the conflict zone.
The Russian envoy again criticized the U.S. for failing to issue a visa to Abkhazia's foreign minister, Sergei Shamba, so that he could present the Abkhaz position.
Abkhazia broke away from Georgian government control in a bloody war in the early 1990s. Since coming to power on the back of the "rose" revolution in 2003, Georgia's pro-Western leader, Mikheil Saakashvili, has been seeking to bring the rebellious republic back under Tbilisi's control. He has repeatedly accused Russian peacekeepers, deployed in the conflict zone to monitor the 1992 Abkhaz-Georgian ceasefire, of siding with the separatists.