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Russia’s Karasin Says not Using Force May be Reached with Georgia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, March 22
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister stated that Georgia, Russia and Georgian occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali may “superficially” agree about not using force during the following Geneva International Discussions on March 27-28, within the only international format discussing Georgia’s conflict issues since Russia-Georgia 2008 war.

Grigory Karasin claims that the deal, which will have no legal power, will not mention the status of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, referring Russia’s recognition of the territories as independent republics.

“The participants of the Geneva International Discussions will just make a promise on the non-use of force, without any official signatures,” Karasin said.

Georgia has long demanded from Russia to fulfil its 2008 obligation on the non-use of force.

However, Russia continues to ignore the signed agreement and demands from Georgia to reach such a deal with de facto regions, which means the recognition of the occupied territories.

Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia David Dondua stated that such a deal within the international format, voiced by Karasin, does not free Russia from its obligation.

“Our goal is to discuss the implementation of the 2008 ceasefire agreements and peaceful resolution of the conflict at the Geneva international discussions, which could not have been accomplished so far,” the Georgian official stated.

He said that if the parties managed to act constructively within the Geneva format there would be a space for higher level negotiations, with the participation of top political figures from Georgia.

The United National Movement and the European Georgia opposition are against such a verbal deal, stating that the major aim of the discussions is to make Russia fulfill its obligation over the non-use of force to Georgia.

“There is only Russia which must take such an obligation. If the government of Georgia believes that after such a deal Russia will change its position to Georgia and the occupied territories, its naivety,” Sergi Kapanadze, from the European Georgia stated.

The Geneva Discussions are co-chaired by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union (EU), and the United Nations (UN).

The United States is one of the participants of the talks.

The Geneva process brings together representatives of the participants of the conflict—Georgia, Russia, and Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Only Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru have recognized Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali as independent republics.