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Foreign Minister Claims New Deal in Geneva Will Benefit Georgia

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, March 23
The Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze stated on Thursday that a new deal that might be achieved within the Geneva International Discussions at the end of the month, over the non-use of force between Georgia, Russia and Georgia’s occupied regions, will serve the goals of Georgia.

“We will work together with our partners within the framework of the Geneva talks in order to adopt a statement serving our goals, state interests, and of course, it will urge Russia to fulfil its obligations under the Ceasefire Agreement [signed in 2008],” Janelidze told the media.

Janelidze stated that the negotiations continue and “we should wait until the next round of the Geneva discussions.”

The Minister stated that Georgia aimed to make Russia to meet its obligations taken after the Russia-Georgia 2008 war and do not use force against Georgia.

However, Russia continues to demand from Georgia to sign such a deal with breakaway regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali and recognize the occupied regions as independent states.

“To make Russia meet its obligations an international security mechanism should be created that will lead towards peaceful resolution of conflicts. International security mechanisms are essential to prevent grave cases such as Archil Tatunashvili's death. It is also necessary the human rights monitoring mechanisms to be allowed in the occupied territories to do their job. We are working in this direction,” Janelidze said.

The United National Movement and the European Georgia opposition are against such a deal with Russia and the occupied regions and believe that through such an agreement Georgia will step backwards.

The opposition believes that Georgia, with the help of the international community, must carry out pressure on Russia to make the occupant country meet its 2008 obligations.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin has stated that Georgia, Russia and Georgian occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali may “superficially” agree about the non-use of 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.

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.

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 Tskhinvali.

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