The Georgian Foreign Ministry said on November 3 that Russia’s recent allegations that Tbilisi was not planning to take part in the Geneva talks planned for November 18 were “absolutely groundless” made in the line of “Soviet-type propaganda aimed at misleading international community.”
Russian and Georgian negotiators were expected to meet face-to-face at the EU, OSCE and UN-mediated talks in Geneva on October 15. The United States was also participating. The talks, however, were suspended because of, as mediators said, “procedural difficulties” – involving disagreement over the role and status of the Abkhaz and South Ossetian representatives at the talks. The negotiations were adjourned with the Georgian and Russian sides failing to even meet face-to-face on October 15.
“It is not Georgia, but the Russian Federation, and its proxy regimes of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region, who are responsible for the suspension of the first round of Geneva talks,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on November 3.
Georgia wants an official, plenary session of the talks to involve negotiators from Georgia, Russia and the United States and the participation of secessionist authorities only at informal meetings of working groups dealing with security issues and return of displaced persons. Giga Bokeria, the Georgian deputy foreign minister, said recently that Georgia also wanted Tbilisi-loyal Abkhaz and South Ossetian communities to represent at those informal meetings.
“Georgian side is looking forward to taking part in the next round of negotiations in Geneva on November 18, in the format agreed among all parties. We also hope that this time the Russian Federation will participate in the plenary, as a demonstration of its dedication to the peace process. Geneva format, in our opinion, is a good way forward to solve the existing problems and discuss outstanding issues,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.