Abkhazia Threatens to Bar UN Monitors

Georgia's separatist Abkhazia region said Tuesday that it would not allow United Nations cease-fire monitors to continue working on its territory unless their mandate was changed.

But, Western diplomats in Moscow said Russia and not Abkhazia would have the decisive say in whether the mandate is renewed, adding that Moscow appeared to be leaning toward agreeing to an extension of the mission.

Abkhazia's foreign minister, Sergei Shamba, said the new mandate -- to replace one that expires Sunday -- must change the mission's name to reflect the separatists' assertion that Abkhazia is an independent state or the UN mission would be blocked.

Also Tuesday, two monitors working for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe were briefly detained, the OSCE said. Georgia's Interior Ministry said they were detained by South Ossetian officials.