The Russian ambassador clashed with American and Georgian envoys in a meeting of the United Nations Security Council as he rejected a new draft on South Ossetia conflict circulated by France, saying it was 'one-sided'.
France had called the emergency meeting of the Council to discuss its new six-point draft, which calls for full and immediate compliance with a cease-fire agreed to by the two warring countries and withdrawal of Russian forces to the lines held prior to the outbreak of hostilities and return of Georgian forces to their 'usual bases'.
Rejecting the draft, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said, "Russia is explicitly complying with the six principles proclaimed in the Kremlin on August 12. We and the whole international community need the support of the Security Council."
Churkin accused Western nations of "turning the events on their head by making aggressor (Georgia) the victim and victim the aggressor," and added, "it (the UNSC) is being distracted by propagandistic ventures. Some members of the Council are taking a position which instead of being constructive is misleading."
Addressing American envoy Alejandro Wolff directly, he asked if the idea was to resolve the issue or propagandise it.
Alleging that instead of the six points, the new resolution talks only about two points, he said that it does not mention how the conflict began with Georgian aggression against South Ossetia.
Diplomats said it was unclear when the draft would be brought to vote with some saying that it might not happen at all. But even if it was brought to vote, Russia has clearly indicated that it might use veto to kill it.
Brokered by France on behalf of the European Union, the new plan calls for renunciation of the use of force, immediate cessation of hostilities, free access to humanitarian aid and withdrawal of forces to pre-conflict positions.
It also calls for allowing Russia to implement 'additional security measures' and the convening of an international discussions on security arrangements for Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
On being blamed by Georgian representative Irakli Alasania for the tragedy that its people were experiencing, Churkin said he should say "a personal thank you to (Georgian) President Saakshvili and those who had pushed Moscow into his military adventure."
Churkin called on the Council to be guided by objective criteria and not the desire to justify the initiators of the aggression. The Russian Federation, he asserted, was carrying out the obligations in keeping with the first plan.
French Ambassador Jean Pierre-Lacroix said that the solution to the problem should respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and he had circulated a 'very simple and direct' draft resolution to that effect.
France believed it was essential for the Council to express itself 'in one voice' on the need to achieve peace in the region. While an agreement wasn't everything, it was a sound basis for ending hostilities and opening talks on a lasting solution, he added.
Britain and United States also criticised Russia for keeping forces in Georgia and charged it with destroying its infrastructure and violating its territory in continuing military action.