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Diplomat says prospects for next Geneva Discussions round remain unclear

To date, The Geneva Discussions are the only platform for dialogue between Sukhum, Tskhinval, and Tbilisi

MOSCOW, August 8. /TASS/. The actions of the collective West have resulted in postponing the next round of the International Geneva Discussions on Transcaucasia, the prospects of holding it remain unclear, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a commentary distributed on Monday.

The diplomat recalled that because of the obstacles created by the West for the Russian side, it has been impossible to hold the 56th round of discussions for eight months. "So far, the prospects for holding the postponed round are still vague. It is not our choice. The entire responsibility for the failure of the negotiation process and its consequences falls on the initiators of such destructive actions and those who indulge them," the commentary said.

Zakharova noted that the background of the West's games around the discussions is revenge against Moscow as part of a general line aimed at isolating Russia for its special military operation in Ukraine. "In this way, the Geneva Discussions have become hostage to geopolitics. We hope our partners are aware of the fact that by imposing illegitimate sanctions and other restrictive measures against Russia, the European Union (as one of the co-chairing organizations), the United States (participating State), and Switzerland (host country) are creating additional serious difficulties for the already complicated work of the Geneva Discussions, thus discrediting the format and the original choice of venue," the commentary reads.

"By adopting transport and visa barriers for members of our delegation as instruments of pressure on Russia, Western partners are unilaterally changing the rules of the game and are making [everyone] consider the issue of moving regular meetings from Geneva to a more neutral place, acceptable to all participants," Zakharova stressed.

International discussions on security and stability in Transcaucasia have been held in Geneva since 2008 with the participation of Abkhazia, Russia, Georgia, South Ossetia and the United States, with the mediation of special representatives of the UN, EU, and OSCE. Work is traditionally conducted in two working groups - on security and on humanitarian issues. The Geneva Discussions remain the only platform for dialogue between Sukhum, Tskhinval, and Tbilisi.