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Controversy emerges over Abashidze- Karasin meetings

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, July 16
Abashidze-Karasin meeting format will remain the same, officials say.

The meeting format among Georgian and Russian special envoys was established after the 2012 parliamentary elections through the initiative of Georgia’s ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.

The focus of the meetings should be on improving trade-economic relations without speaking about disputable political topics.

The talks have resulted in partial opening of the closed Russian market for Georgian products and new opportunities in transport direction.

However, along with the negotiations Russia is continuing its creeping occupation in Georgia and roughly tries to move the so-called administrative border into the central parts of the country.

In response to the occupant actions Vice Premier Kakhi Kaladze has voiced that the meeting format among the special envoys might be reviewed.

Kaladze says that political relations with Russia is very complicated and such format of meeting should be introduced that will help regulating of the political aspect.

The Foreign Ministry, Defense Ministry and the Prime Minister say that no amendments are scheduled to change the current format.

Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli stated that the format has its certain tasks and in all other occasions the state administration is ready to inform the international community.

Former Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze says that the format should be annulled and one, definite policy should be elaborated in terms of the Georgian-Russian relations.

Analyst Elene Khoshtaria shares the vision and states that the two-year experience has revealed that Georgia tries to normalize relations while Russia does nothing for it and intensifies its occupation on Georgian lands.

Fellow analyst Zaal Anjaparidze suggests that Kaladze should have defined which format would be better with Russia.

The opposition United National Movement is also for cancelling the format.

They stress that the format brought no benefits for Georgia.

The pretensions and negative assessments are unclear for Georgia’s Special Envoy to Russia Zurab Abashidze.

He stresses that he has achieved serious success in all aspects the format was established for.