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15 Apr, 2008 21:44

Peacekeepers from Russia to carry on in Abkhazia: UN

The United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously to renew the mandate of its observer mission in Georgia’s breakaway republic of Abkhazia. The resolution also states that peacekeeping forces are playing a stabilising role in the troubled region.

The UN reports that the troops from Russia and other former Soviet republics are operating in a professional manner.

The mission was established in 1993 after a ceasefire in the armed conflict that ended with Abkhazia declaring independence.

The breakaway republic has yet to be recognised by the international community.

In March Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, recommended that the government recognises Abkhazia as well as Georgia’s other breakaway republic, South Ossetia.

Georgia has offered Abkhazia full autonomy, which the republic rejected.

After the Security Council session the U.S. ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, expressed concerns about Russia's plans to establish representation missions in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

His Russia counterpart, Vitaly Churkin, accused him of double standards.

“It is surprising to hear such concerns from countries, who have hastily recognised illegal unilateral proclamations of independence in other places,” Vitaly Churkin said.