The Hague: Russia on Monday accused Georgia of
manufacturing allegations of ethnic cleansing in Georgia`s
breakaway provinces after it failed to regain control of the
areas in an abortive five-day war.
Georgia has complained to the International Court of
Justice of the murder of thousands of ethnic Georgians and
alleged displacement of some 300,000 people in a two-decade
campaign of discrimination by Russian authorities and
separatist militias in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Russian, however, portrayed itself as a mediator and
peacemaker, and said Georgia had never complained of ethnic
discrimination until it lost the 2008 war.
Two years ago, the UN`s highest court issued an emergency
ruling ordering both countries to protect civilians from
ethnic violence. But it delayed any action on Georgia`s claim
that Russia had systematically persecuted ethnic Georgians
since the early 1990s after the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Russia today argued that the court had no jurisdiction to
hear Georgia`s case. Georgia was to present its argument on
the jurisdiction issue tomorrow. No time has been set for the
court to hear arguments on the case`s merits. While the
court`s decisions are binding, it has no means of forcing
Georgia`s complaint was based on alleged violations of a
1965 treaty banning all forms of racial discrimination. But
Russia said Georgia had never raised claims of discrimination
during normal diplomatic contacts until after its forces were
crushed in the 2008 war in South Ossetia.
"The application (to the court) was launched only when it
became clear that Georgia`s military operation had failed,"
said Kirill Gevorgian, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry`s
The court, also known as the World Court that adjudicates
disputes among UN member states, is a court of last resort,
the Russian legal team argued. Lawyers said Georgia had not
previously sought to resolve its claims through negotiations
or through a commission established by the anti-discrimination