MOSCO, June 20./TASS/. Meetings in the format of the Geneva International Discussions should be moved from Geneva since the work of this format is being obstructed, the Russian Foreign Ministry said following a meeting of the co-chairs via a video link-up on Monday.
"The conversation focused on the discussion of prospects for the restart of the Geneva discussions," the release said after the online meeting with the participation of Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko. "The work of this format remains frozen after unilateral decisions made by co-chairs without consultations with the participating member nations to postpone the 56th round, scheduled initially for the end of March of this year," it added.
"The Russian side emphasized the destructive nature of moves by the US, the European Union, the OSCE as well as Switzerland, creating major obstacles for the normal functioning of the Geneva format," the Foreign Ministry said.
"Under the present circumstances there is an objective need to move the meeting from Geneva to a more neutral place suitable for all the participants," the ministry went on to say.
The Foreign Ministry also stressed that in view of the new geopolitical situation and attempts by the West to create confrontation in the South Caucasus as well, "the signing of a legally binding agreement on the non-use of force by Tbilisi regarding Tskhinval and Sukhum, as well as the launch of the delimitation of the Georgian-Abkhaz and Georgian-South Ossetian state borders with their subsequent demarcation must remain an absolute priority. "Without resolving these fundamental issues, the goal of ensuring sustainable peace and stability in Transcaucasia cannot be achieved," the Foreign Ministry summed up.
In addition to Rudenko, taking part in the online meeting were OSCE co-chair Viorel Mosanu, EU co-chair Toivo Klaar and UN co-chair Cihan Sultanoglu.
It was reported earlier that the 56th round of negotiations was due to be held at the end of March, but was cancelled. It became known in April that the Geneva discussions had been frozen at the initiative of the co-chairs representing the UN, the European Union and the OSCE.
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.