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Russia worried by NATO’s growing activity in South Caucasus - diplomat

December 10, 2015, 4:51 UTC+3 GENEVA
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karassin also said that Russia us worried by Georgia’s craving for NATO membership
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© AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov

GENEVA, December 9. /TASS/. Russia is worried by NATO’s growing activity in South Caucasus and Georgia’s craving for membership of the pact, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karassin who is taking part in the Geneva discussions on security and stability in South Caucasus said on Wednesday.

"We’re worried by NATO’s mounting activity in the region and Tbilisi’s desire to get membership of that military and political block," Karassin said as he summed results of the 34th round of discussions.

"We’ve said this together with our South Ossetian and Abkhazian partners," he said. "We’re really concerned and this concern was stated plainly at the plenary session and in bilateral conversions, including the one with Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister David Dondua."

The detriments of anti-Russia rhetoric

Karassin expressed concern over what he called "the bellicose anti-Russian rhetoric of certain Georgian politicians and particularly Defence Minister Tinatin Khidasheni who he said would sometimes go as low as using marketplace language.

"This doesn’t help the rehabilitation of our bilateral relations in any way and isn’t conducive to the rise of a constructive atmosphere at the Geneva discussions," he said.

Nonetheless, the round was quite animated and meaty, albeit marked by acute moments, Karassin said.

"Participants made reports on the current developments in the region, including the border areas of Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia," he said. "Conclusions boil down to the absence of major incidents. Still problems remain, serious problems."

In part, attention was paid to the provocations organized by Georgian politicians. They are linked to the absence of delimitation and demarcation of the borders separating the territories of the three states.

"This furnishes some Georgian politicians and mass with a pretext for parasitizing on the issue," he said. "They put up obstacles to peace and concord in the region."

Incident prevention mechanism inefficient

One more deplorable factor is the continuously dysfunctional mechanism of prevent and response to incidents on the Georgian-Abkhazian border, Karassin went on.

"This mechanism is really important, as it helps the officials at relevant governmental departments and agencies meet together, as well as discuss and troubleshoot various crimes, and that’s why it’s important to set the scene for a resumption of this preventive activity," he said.

The Abkhazian delegation proposed to pass a general statement on the importance of eliminating the barriers to international communications that the residents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are faced with.

The proposal focused on purely humanitarian issues related to the recognition of civil status acts, like birth certificates, Karassin said.

"We supported the project but unfortunately the statement wasn’t adopted eventually because of the unconstructive stance of Georgian representatives," he said. "The Georgian partners also dug in their feet as regards a statement on the non-use of force.".

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