The International Court of Justice (ICJ) began hearings today on charges by Georgia of Russian human rights abuses in two Moscow-backed breakaway regions.
Georgia filed a complaint with the court in August 2008, claiming Russia had been committing violations of the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination since Abkhazia and South Ossetia broke away from Tbilisi's control in the 1990s.
Georgia filed the complaint in August 2008, just days after the two countries went to war over South Ossetia. Georgia denies the case was directly linked to the conflict.
But Russia's representative, Kirill Gevorgian, in opening statements to the court today said that the case was only about the war and not about the treaty.
Russia has also argued that the court has no jurisdiction to hear the case.
Georgia's legal representatives are expected to make their formal case to the court's 16 judges on September 14.