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Russian MFA: Statements Supporting Georgia’ NATO Membership Are Provocative

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, December 14
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia says statements of the United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, that Georgia will become a NATO member, are a provocation.

Moscow released the statement after the 46th round of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) held on December 11-12.

The discussions, which represent the only format of an international dialogue between Georgia and Russia, is held four times a year with Co-Chairmanship of the EU, UN and OSCE, and with the participation of Georgia, the Russian Federation and the USA. The representatives of Georgia’s breakaway regions – South Ossetia and Abkhazia occupation regimes also attend the Working Groups.

“The situation on the Georgian- Abkhazian and Georgian-South Ossetian borders was assessed as stable by all participants of the discussions, except Georgian representatives. The border crossing statistics show that there is no serious problem related to free movement,” the statement of Russia.

Moscow stressed that the main challenge of regional security in the Transcaucasus is "the military activities of the US and NATO on the territory of Georgia".

"We assess the statements of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo supporting Georgia’s NATO membership as provocative. Such irresponsible messages in August 2008, encouraged Tbilisi to carry out a criminal military action," the Russian Foreign Ministry statement reads.

Official Tbilisi also released a statement regarding the Geneva Talks. Georgia says illegal annexation and occupation of Georgian territories by Russia brought tough consequences for the local population, living in the occupied regions.

Georgia’s MFA says they outlined consequences of abduction and installation of wire fences and various artificial barriers on occupation line, illegal arrests of locals and restriction of getting an education in the native language.

Tbilisi stressed that as usual participants from Moscow, occupied Sokhumi and Tskhinvali demonstrated the traditional destructiveness and left the negotiating room while discussing the issues on the safe and dignified return of IDPs and refugees to their homes in the occupied regions.

MFA says the Georgian side stressed that Russia exercises power in breakaway regions and is to be held responsible for the gross violation of human rights there.

Tbilisi also once again called on the Russian Federation to implement the EU-mediated ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008, withdraw its occupation forces from the territory of Georgia and fulfill undertaken international obligations.

The next round of Geneva International Discussions will take place on April 2-3, 2019.