L'AQUILA, July 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will lift its veto on the extension of the UN mission in the Caucasus region if its partners adopt a more pragmatic approach, the Russian president said on Friday.
"On the whole, no one objects to missions. Missions are beneficial, and the UN and EC mission must exist...However, if we are speaking about the mandate of the UN mission, then I believe it should take into account established realities and not create the illusion that nothing has happened." Medvedev said at a news conference after the end of the G8 summit in the Italian city of L'Aquila.
In June, Russia used its veto to block an extension of the UN observer mission's mandate in Georgia and Abkhazia, in protest against the resolution's failure to recognize "new political and legal circumstances."
The monitors are due to leave by July 15.
Russia, which last year recognized Abkhazia as an independent state, objected to a reference in the draft to Resolution 1808 dated April 2008, which affirms Georgia's "territorial integrity."
Russia's UN envoy, Vitaly Churkin, called the reference "political poison" in view of last year's events in the Caucasus - Georgia's attack on breakaway South Ossetia, the ensuing Russia-Georgia war, and Russia's recognition of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia's independence.
The UN mission in the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict zone was deployed in 1993 to oversee a ceasefire following a post-Soviet conflict that resulted in Abkhazia gaining de facto independence.