Georgian and Russian special envoys met in Prague on June 27 to focus on economic and humanitarian issues, but Georgia launched the meeting by speaking about the recent brutal murder of a Georgian citizen by border guards on May 19.
Russia does not feel responsible for murder of Georgian man on Abkhaz border
By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, June 29
Georgia’s Special Envoy to Russia, Zurab Abashidze, repeated the Georgian Government’s position and stressed that the alleged killer of brutally murdered 31-year-old Giga Otkhozoria “must be arrested and appropriately punished”.
“Issues like the murder of Giga Otkhozoria aren’t generally discussed at Prague meetings with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin, but in this case we believed we should raise the issue,” Abashidze said.
Abashidze continued on to say that last week’s solution of the Military Court of Abkhazia over sentencing the alleged killer with a house detention was “inadequate.”
He also said both Russia and Abkhazia share responsibility for the murder.
In response, Karasin said Russia takes no responsibility for the murder, as it it the obligation of Abkhazia to investigate the case and punish the offender.
On another note, Karasin said “he loved Georgia” and “wished to see stability in the country after the October 8 parliamentary elections”.
He added that Russia iss “interested” in the elections’ outcomes.
After the meeting, on June 28, the Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement which reported that an agreement on releasing several prisoners had been reached due to the Prague meetings.
“Constructive dialogue has been established on a number of issues, especially within the trade, transport, and humanitarian fields, where it is possible to make progress while having no diplomatic relations. The results have been significant, and cargos flows between us have increased. Russia remains the number two commercial partner and main market for Georgian wine,” Russia’s MFA said.
“It is expected that contacts planned according to the countries’ trade-industrial chambers’ plan will further strengthen Georgian-Russian economic relations. We would also like to emphasize the increased amount of passengers and cargo travelling between our countries. Cooperation between transport services is also developing,” reads the statement.
According to the statement, the parties have confirmed they are ready to continue on a pragmatic but gradual course towards normalizing relations.
“However, we are concerned that remarks and unfriendly rhetoric declared within pre-election campaigning by Georgia’s official representatives contradicts the profitable process for both sides,” reads the statement.
The first Abashidze-Karasin meeting took place in 2012 in Geneva. The so-called Abashidze-Karasin talks are officially limited in scope to economic and other practical issues.