TBILISI, November 25 /TASS/. It is up to Georgian government to decide whether it should preserve its current format of dialogue with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, the Georgian Prime Minister’s special representative for relations with Russia, said on Tuesday.
Meetings between Zurab Abashidze and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin have been the only form of regular contacts which Russia and Georgia have been maintaining since the two countries broke off diplomatic ties following Georgia’s war in South Ossetia in August 2008.
“No matter how complicated the relations between the two countries could be, there should be a form in which they could communicate with each other,” Abashidze told journalists in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.
“Communication becomes even more important when these relations are getting worse even further. Anyway, it is up to the Georgian government to decide whether this channel of communication should be preserved under the current circumstances,” Abashidze said, commenting on calls by some local politicians to end the “Abashidze-Karasin” consultative dialogue in protest against the strategic partnership agreement between Russia and Abkhazia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Abkhazian President Raul Khadzhinba signed a strategic partnership agreement in the Black Sea town of Sochi on Monday.
The document obliges Russia to promote Abkhazia’s international ties, including through expansion of the number of countries that officially recognize it (Abkhazia) as a state, and create conditions for Abkhazia’s entry into international bodies and associations including those that have been set up on the initiative or with assistance from Russia.
The agreement also envisages the creation of a joint “defense and security space,” including the creation of a unified group of troops of the Russian and Abkhazian Armed Forces and bodies that will run and operate this unified group of troops.
This process is to be completed no later than a year since the day the partnership agreement comes into force.