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South Ossetia president blames Georgia for disrupting Geneva talks

March 18, 2015, 21:21 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Geneva discussions are constantly disrupted through the Georgian delegation’s fault, South Ossetia's President Leonid Tibilov says
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© ITAR-TASS/Zurab Javakhadze

MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. South Ossetia's President Leonid Tibilov on Wednesday blamed Georgia for continually disrupting talks in Geneva bringing together representatives from states in the volatile South Caucasus.

"The Geneva discussions are constantly disrupted through the Georgian delegation’s fault because the Georgian side actually is not ready to answer the questions the Geneva discussions should answer," Tibilov told journalists in Moscow after signing a treaty formalizing alliance and integration between Russia and South Ossetia.

The 25-year treaty governing staged promotion of social, economic, humanitarian and foreign affairs, and defense and security cooperation between the two countries, signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and his South Ossetian counterpart Tibilov on Wednesday, have attracted some criticism from delegates in Geneva.

Representatives there were assembled in the single platform existing for dialogue between Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Georgia. This was first convened on a deal between the Russian and French presidents after August 2008 events when Georgia attacked neighbour South Ossetia, leading to Moscow's recognition of South Ossetia as an independent nation.

Convening for a new round of two-day talks on Tuesday, three months after a December gathering added representatives from the European Union, the United Nations and European security agency OSCE to discussions, delegates from Abkhazia, Georgia, Russia, the United States, and South Ossetia focussed on regional security, refugee problems and seeking a pledge from Georgia not to use force against neighbour states.

Russia’s initiative to adopt a joint statement of all participants in the Geneva discussions on the non-use of force has been subject to negotiation in this format for several years. But Tbilisi has balked at the idea, demanding that Russia should make a unilateral statement on the non-use of force against Georgia. Moscow does not consider itself a party to the age-old conflict and refuses to make such a deal with Tbilisi.

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