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Russian, EU diplomats discuss preparation of next round of Geneva talks

July 17, 2013, 20:32 UTC+3
Lukashevich stressed that “there is no intention to phase out these meetings”
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MOSCOW, July 17 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin and European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus Philippe Lefort discussed the preparation of the next round of Geneva discussions on security and stability in the Transcaucasia.

“During the conversation issues related to the current status of the Geneva discussions were discussed, including the preparation of the next round of these talks,” the Foreign Ministry said after the telephone conversation between Karasin and Lefort on Wednesday, July 17.

At their previous meeting on June 25-26, the sides failed to agree a joint statement on the non-use of force because of the Georgian delegation’s position.

Commenting on the results of the talks, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said the meeting had borne out the conclusion that “the Georgian delegation is not prepared for a joint search for compromises and balanced solutions for all sides concerned.”

“This concerns primarily the non-use of force. Unfortunately, at their meeting in June the participants could not even exchange opinions on the draft statement prepared by the co-chairs,” the diplomat said.

Lukashevich stressed that “there is no intention to phase out these meetings.”

“The format is quite important for maintaining the level of trust between sovereign states that emerged after Tbilisi’s aggression in 2008,” he said and noted that “responsibility for continuing discussions rests solely with the Georgian side.”

Lukashevich reaffirmed that Moscow is ready to continue “working in this format on a constructive basis” and will preserve it.

The Geneva International Discussions address the consequences of the 2008 conflict in Georgia, and are chaired by Ambassador Deshchytsia, EU Special Representative Philippe Lefort and U.N. Representative Antti Turunen.

Reporting on the meetings of the Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) established by the Geneva Discussions, Ambassador Andrei Deshchytsia welcomed the decrease in security-related incidents. Three meetings have been held since the start of the year.

The Geneva discussions take place under the auspices of the United Nations, the European Union and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and involve delegations of the Republic of Abkhazia, Georgia, Russia, the United States, and the Republic of South Ossetia.

The Geneva International Discussions, launched after the August 2008 conflict in Georgia, are co-chaired by the OSCE, EU and U.N., and bring together representatives of Georgia, the Russian Federation, the United States, Tskhinvali and Sukhumi. The establishment of Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs) was one of their outcomes. The Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms were established under the Geneva International Discussions, which are co-chaired by the OSCE, the EU and the U.N.

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