Russian veto deals death blow to U.N. force in Georgia

 Russia, at odds with Western powers over Georgia, vetoed on Monday a Western plan to extend the mandate of a U.N. mission in the former Soviet republic, in a death blow to the 130-strong observer force. There were 10 votes in favor and four abstentions, one of which was China’s. No country joined Russia in voting against. Reuter reports:



Senate Passes Kerry-Smith Resolution on Georgia

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sens. John Kerry and Gordon Smith today announced Saturday’s passage of their resolution in response to the crisis in Georgia. The resolution called on Russia to immediately comply with the September 8, 2008 follow-on agreement to the six-point ceasefire negotiated on August 12, 2008. It strongly backs humanitarian, economic, and democratic assistance for Georgia, and continues to support the NATO declaration at last April’s Bucharest Summit in favor of a Membership Action Plan for Georgia and the Ukraine.
“Russia’s aggression in Georgia violated international law and seriously diminished its standing in the world,” said Sen. Kerry. “The real test for American diplomacy in the months ahead will be how to best assist in the rebuilding of Georgia’s democracy.”
“Russia’s hostile invasion of its tiny democratic neighbor, Georgia, has sparked an international outrage,” said Sen. Smith. “We must help Georgia recover from this onslaught, and help this democratic country move forward to a brighter, more secure future.”
Below is the full text of the Kerry-Smith Senate resolution

Abkhazia, S.Ossetia Formally Declared Occupied Territory


 The Georgian parliament unanimously passed a resolution on August 28 formally declaring Abkhazia and South Ossetia Russian-occupied territories, and calling Russian troops, occupying forces.