A date is expected within days to confirm discussions between the Georgian prime minister’s special representative for relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin.
“A few days before the meeting with Russia’s State Secretary and Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin, the two countries’ experts will hold negotiations in Prague on trade and economic co-operation,” Abashidze said.
“The meeting of Georgian and Russian experts is not a part of discussions between Abashidze and Karasin,” he said, noting that “meetings with Mr. Karasin have their traditional agenda, connected mostly with the development of trading and economic co-operation, transport, humanitarian and other practical issues.”As for the expert consultations in Prague, “they will analyze the two countries’ work to restore and expand economic co-operation over the last one and a half years, and they will discuss prospects for further interaction,” Abashidze said.
On June 23, Karasin and Abashidze held telephone talks over expert consultations on trade and economic issues.
“During the talks, the high-ranking officials discussed bilateral issues, including expert consultations on trade and economic problems in the context of Georgia’s signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union [in Brussels on June 27],” the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
Earlier discussions between Abashidze and Karasin opened near Geneva in December 2012, first between official representatives since hostilities over the bordering South Ossetia region flared in 2008. The next four meetings were held in Prague in March, June, September and November 2013. The latest encounter took place last April.