No, the S-G was not “blackmailed” by Russia

To the spat over the wording of a UN report on security in Abkhazia, Georgia has added the charge of blackmail.

“It is very unfortunate (and) alarming that the (U.N.) Secretariat submitted to the Russian blackmail,” Georgia’s U.N. Ambassador, Alexander Lomaia told, Reuters.

This is getting silly. At issue between Russia and Georgia is Abkhazia’s national status; it is still an autonomous part of Georgia, but after declaring its sovereignty after the war last August, Abkhazia’s independence was recognized by Russia (and Nicaragua). At issue for the UN here, though, is quite simply the status of its observer mission, regardless of what you call where it is stationed.

The geopolitical situation is complicated, contentious, and needs to be resolved, to be sure. But it shouldn’t impede on a relatively anodyne report on the current security situation in Abkhazia. The question of wording is tricky, but in not using this report to wade into a Russia-Georgia sovereignty dispute, the UN Secretariat is not being “blackmailed” by Russia. It’d help for both sides to stop levying accusations of bias at the UN and to focus on coming to a meaningful accord over Abkhazia instead.

(image from flickr user openDemocracy under a Creative Commons license)