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Georgia still turns blind eye to Russian cynicism

By Messenger Staff
Friday, May 22
The Russian President has appointed his Deputy Foreign Minister Gregory Karasin as a special representative for ratification of a so-called treaty between Russia and the de-facto state of South Ossetia.

It should be stressed that Karasin is a Special Envoy of Russia to Georgia and participates in the format that is known as Abashidze-Karasin meetings introduced under the current government of Georgia.

The format envisages regulating of relations with Russia and carries out talks initially with regard to trade-economic issues.

Through its recent step, Russia hinted once again that it is not going to de-occupy the Georgian territories.

According to the treaty with South Ossetia, within a term of 25 years, separate units of the armed forces and security agencies of the South Ossetian Republic will become part of the armed forces and security agencies of the Russian Federation.

It also envisages integration of customs service of the breakaway region with the one of the Russian Federation.

As in the case of Russia's Abkhazian agreements, the treaty with Tskhinvali envisages setting up of Joint Information-Coordinating Center of law enforcement agencies for the purpose of coordinating the fights against organized crime and terrorism.

Russia will undertake a commitment to co-finance gradual increase of salaries of employees of the state-funded entities in breakaway South Ossetia to the level existing in Russia’s North Caucasus Federal District.

Russia also vows to increase pensions for those residents of the breakaway region, many of whom hold Russian passports, starting from 2016, as well as relaxing the process of granting Russian citizenship to the residents of the breakaway region.

Georgia’s Special Envoy to Russia Zurab Abashidze states that Karasin’s new post will not hinder the Abashidze-Karasin format.

Through the statement it might be said that the Georgian side does not intend to react over Moscow's decisions.

Minister of Economy Giorgi Kvirikashvili believes that it would be better if some other individual is selected to treat with South Ossetia.

“Karasin is involved in the talks with Georgia…but we should continue dialogue with Russia, it’s always better to talk rather to be in a state of confrontation,” Kvirikashvili said.

For the member of the opposition Free Democrats, former Foreign Minister Maya Panjikidze, it is unimaginable to maintain the Abashidze-Karasin format with its initial image after taking such unacceptable steps by Russia.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also plans to amend the format and involve the breakaway regions' representatives in it.

The initiative has already been grilled by the opposition parties in Georgia.