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Russian interpretation of direct dialogue

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, August 29
Sometime ago, Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili expressed readiness concerning engaging in direct dialogue with Abkhazian and South Ossetian citizens. Ivanishvili was referring to the possibility of conducting dialogue with the occupied regions’ people and overcoming the current obstacles in relations. The statement suggested that solutions to the various problems can be found in public diplomacy. Direct contact, sharing of common joys and sorrows, mixed marriages, creating joint business ventures and similar activities, would facilitate the alleviation of the strain between Georgia and the separatist regions.

“Georgia’s democratic development and economic process will turn Abkhazians and Ossetians towards us and finally convince them that Georgia is their motherland,” stated Georgian PM.

Just couple of week’s later Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, commented and provided an interpretation regarding the Georgian PM’s words. He emphasized that Russia welcomes the Georgian government’s position with regard to direct dialogue with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Russia’s desire is for Georgia to sign a direct agreement with the breakaway regions on the non-use of force. So, According to Lavrov, the reality is that Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia will sign the agreement. The position is absolutely unacceptable for Georgia, as signing such a document would represent indirect recognition of the occupied regions as independent juridical entities – independent states.

Of course, neither Ivanishvili nor any other future leader of Georgia will take this step. Moreover, Georgia categorically demands that an agreement on the non-use of force be made and signed by equal, internationally-recognized entities, between Georgia and the Russian Federation.

Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze, commenting about Lavrov’s statement, stressed that Lavrov gave the wrong interpretation of Ivanishvili’s statement.

We think that Lavrov understands very well what Bidzina Ivanishvili said. However, he uses every single opportunity to fix the Russian position that Georgia will not have back the occupied territories. Russia is trying to get Georgia to agree with the present situation.

NATO’s general secretary special representative for the South Caucasus and central Asia also critically commented on Lavrov’s statement.