Russia is invading and mining Georgia: OSCE envoy

August 14th, 2008 - 10:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Vienna, Aug 14 (DPA) Russia is still invading territories in western Georgia and is placing mines there, Georgia’s ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) alleged Thursday. “Despite the fact of the Russian Federation president’s decision to withdraw its forces, still they are coming and occupying parts of Georgia,” Ambassador Victor Dolidze told reporters.

Russia was moving into Senaki, Poti and Gori in western Georgia, outside the conflict zone in South Ossetia, he said.

As Russia was mining these territories, “we are very close to a humanitarian catastrophe,” he added.

Russian diplomats were not immediately available for comment.

At a special OSCE meeting Thursday, all diplomats of the 56-nation organization spoke out in favour of increasing the number of its military observers in Georgia from eight to 100, special envoy Heikki Talvitie said.

But countries still had to agree on the modalities of the OSCE mission before taking a decision, he said.

The Vienna-based organization currently has 200 staff in the Georgian capital Tblisi, eight of which are military observers.

Meanwhile, both Georgia and Russia traded accusations against each other before the UN disarmament negotiating body, the Conference on Disarmament said in Geneva Thursday.

Georgia accused Russia of “serious violations of international human rights”, while Russia accused Georgia of “ethnic cleansing” and genocide, the conference said.

Even after an agreed ceasefire came into effect Tuesday, Russian troops had occupied more Georgian territory and attacked Georgian civilians, Tbilisi said.

Moscow said it had documents that proved the Georgian military were actively driving Ossetians out of the disputed region.

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