Georgia wants 'ethnic cleansing' talks with Russia

28th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Georgia has asked Russia for talks on alleged rights violations including ethnic cleansing that it claims were committed by Moscow over the past two decades, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry said it sent a note to Moscow on Monday asking for talks about the alleged "violations" that were raised during Georgia's unsuccessful attempt to bring charges against Russia in The Hague this year.

The International Court of Justice declined in April to hear Georgia's case brought under the UN anti-discrimination charter, saying it had "no jurisdiction to entertain the application".

It said that Georgia should have tried harder to negotiate with ex-Soviet neighbour Russia before seeking the court's intervention.

Tbilisi wants Moscow "to participate in further negotiations to resolve the disputes that have arisen with respect to the Russian Federation's responsibility for breaches of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination", a ministry statement said.

One of the alleged breaches is that Russia carried out ethnic cleansing during the brief war between the two countries in 2008.

Other allegations are that Russia has not allowed refugees from conflicts in the Moscow-backed rebel regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the early 1990s to return to their homes, and has conducted long-term ethnic discrimination against Georgians in both regions.

The arch foes have not had diplomatic relations since the war in 2008 and Tbilisi's request to Moscow was sent via intermediary Switzerland.

© 2011 AFP

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