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Georgia to maintain dialogue format with Russia

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, December 4
The current government has decided to maintain a dialogue format with Russia that envisages the continued meetings of Special Envoys Zurab Abashidze and Gregory Karasin. Following Russia’s signing of a controversial treaty on Alliance and Partnership with Abkhazia, which by the Georgian government was viewed as an attempt of the full annexation of the region the opposition United National Movement (UNM) demanded that the meetings be canceled.

The Kremlin has also made statements with regard to Georgian-Russian relations and stressed that there was no pause in the two countries’ relations.

Parliament did not support the resolution drafted by the UNM on the suspension of the Abashidze-Karasin meeting format on November 28. However, parliament appealed to the government to summarize the outcomes of the meetings and specify how exactly they are beneficial.

Abashidze and Karasin have regularly met since December 2012. The main aim of the format established under the current government is to discuss trade and economic relations with Russia, which Georgia suspended diplomatic relations with after the close of the August War in 2008.

The last meeting between Abashidze and Karasin took place in Prague in October 2014, where they discussed the Russian-Abkhazian treaty.

Russian media suggests that Russia does not want a pause in Georgian-Russian relations and that the meetings will resume next year.

Responding to the statement on December 2, Zurad Abashidze stated that Georgia did not intend to give up the format. He said that the next meeting was not scheduled, but the sides will be in contact with each other.

Georgia’s Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili also confirmed that Georgia will maintain the dialogue format with Russia.

Georgia’s Minister for European and European Integration Davit Bakradze admits that the international community also supports maintaining dialogue between the two countries.

One of the points of the new treaty reads that an attack on one country will be taken as an attack on another.

There is speculation that Russia might sign the same type of treaty with South Ossetia in 2015.

In fact, Georgia has not much choice. Only irresponsible UNM leadership was trapped and used bombs instead of words. What was the result of military confrontation with Russia could be seen clearly in couple of days in August 2008.

Therefore current leadership of Georgia is taking common sense steps and uses flexible approach to the extremely complicated situation it is now. Particularly after its western partners did not move a finger when Moscow first annexed Crimea and now unleashed fighting against sovereign neighbor - Ukraine. Sanctions against the Kremlin will give the results at best in several months or even years. Meanwhile thousands of people become homeless and many hundreds are killed.