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Geneva negotiations frustrated

By Messenger Staff
Monday, June 13
The Geneva negotiations on Caucasus security issues which were held on June 7, 2011 were very brief and succeeded only in arranging the next round of negotiations for October 4, 2011. The Georgian delegation returned home very upset and suggested that the next round might not be held at all. Georgian representatives accused Russia of masterminding terrorist attacks in Georgia and warning Moscow that if it would not stop such acts, Tbilisi would stop its participation in the Geneva process.

On the eve of the Geneva talks, the Georgian Interior Ministry announced that it had detected and prevented an attempted terrorist attack and that two residents of the Russian occupied region of Gali were detained when they confessed that they were paid money by the Russian special services to carry explosive materials into Georgian territory and perpetrate terrorist attacks. This took place on June 2, and four days later when the participants of the Geneva talks were already in Switzerland, Georgia’s Interior Ministry made another announcement about an attempted terrorist attack allegedly masterminded by Russia the target of which was to carry out an explosion in Tbilisi in front of the NATO informative office. Georgian MIA spokesperson Shota Utiashvili made a special statement and the head of Georgia’s delegation in Geneva Secretary of Security Council Giga Bokeria claimed that it would be impossible to carry on negotiations with a country supporting state terrorism. The Georgian side submitted to the Russian side the documents concerning the possible terrorist acts and demanded a joint investigation. Moscow received the material but its representative deputy FM Grigory Karasin strongly denied any kind of involvement in the terrorist activities, saying that Tbilisi is conducting a policy of informative propaganda against Moscow. Georgian analysts assess the situation differently. Some think that if Moscow continue such activities the continuation of negotiations is useless. They say as well that after the failed attempt of changing the ruling power in Georgia on May 21-26, Moscow really were responsible for the attempted attacks. This, according to the analysts could be done to increase the pressure on Georgia from the international community. Analysts think that nothing would change much if the Geneva process was suspended.

Other analysts however think that despite no real and viable results, the Geneva process should continue because even if it does not yield immediate results it is a podium to declare one’s position and have dialogue with the Russian side or separatist regimes' representatives.

“The issue should be approached very carefully. It is easy to suspend it. It is much more difficult to create such a model. An expression of this discontent could be expressed in some other way,” thinks former FM, analyst Irakli Menagarishvili.

Fellow analyst Mamuka Areshidze also hopes that the Geneva negotiations will not be frustrated as it is in the interest of all sides to continue.

The best option would be to create an international investigation commission which would study the case thoroughly and make conclusions accordingly to assist the sides in making positive steps forward.