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Russia wants to block Geneva Talks

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, September 22
The Geneva Talks are scheduled on October 7-8. However, the event is unlikely to be held. The talks were launched after the August War 2008 through the mediation of the United States and the EU. Involvement of de-facto regions in the negotiations was Russia’s strong precondition.

Russia’s main goal is to legitimize Abkhazia and South Ossetia through the talks. Russia has demanded the signing of a ceasefire agreement with the de-facto regions from the Georgian side. However, accepting such a memorandum will be equal to recognizing the regions as sovereign countries. On the other hand, Georgia suggests signing the ceasefire agreement between Georgia and Russia.

The 28th round of the Geneva Talks ended prematurely as the representatives of the de-facto regions left the meeting as a sign of protest. The representatives, who were backed by the Russians, demanded that the refugee topic be removed from the agenda.

The Geneva discussions are co-chaired by the EU, OSCE and UN representatives, and include members from Georgia, Russia, the United States and the two de-facto regions. The discussions are held in two formats, one concerns security issues and another is related to humanitarian topics and IDPs.

Russia and the separatist regions were extremely irritated by the 7th resolution of the General Assembly of the UN, which recognizes the rights of refugees and granted them the right to go back to Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The de-facto representatives from the second group of discussions stated that the Georgian side has politicized the refugees’ issues and that there is no space to discuss such matters within the Geneva Talks.

Prior to the latest Geneva Talks, separatists demanded changes to the format and agenda. Of course, the amendments are dictated by the Russians. The main demand is related to the removal of IDP issues from the agenda. This is unacceptable for Georgia.

It is obvious that holding the next round of talks is in jeopardy because of Russia.