Relations between Russia and the West over Georgia have worsened, with Moscow veto-ing plans to keep UN forces in the breakaway region of Abkhazia. Their mandate has run out, and America and Europe wanted an extension to plan their future. Ten Security Council members agreed, but the draft resolution failed when Moscow said the UN forces were there under outdated rules.
Abkhazia declared independence, along with South Ossetia, after Georgia’s war with Russia last year. Russia is one of only two nations to have recognised their statehood. Moscow said it rejected the draft resolution because it referred to Georgia’s ‘territorial integrity.’ Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin described that phrase as ‘political poison.’ Washington said it deeply regrets the Russian veto, and still supports Georgia’s position.