Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin met separately with Sergey Shamba, the foreign minister of breakaway Abkhazia and Murat Jioev, the foreign minister of breakaway South Ossetia, in Moscow on June 24.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that during the meeting between Karasin and Shamba, the two officials exchanged views “on difficult situation in Trans-Caucasus exacerbated by the closing of the UN mission in the area of the Abkhaz-Georgian border.”
“The sides expressed their disappointment that it was not possible to maintain international observers in the region. It was emphasized that in the current situation, the Russian military and border contingents deployed on the basis of bilateral Russian-Abkhazian agreements on the territory of the Republic of Abkhazia, along with the Abkhaz forces, is the key factor for ensuring stability and security,” it said.
In a separate statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Karasin discussed with Jioev “new situation” emerging in the region after the closure of the OSCE mission. It said that both of the officials expressed “disappointment” about the Western position on the issue of presence of OSCE observers in the region. Moscow wanted a separate mission in Tskhinvali, independent from the one in Tbilisi, which was unacceptable for Georgia.
In both of these meetings, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, the sides discussed upcoming sixth round of Geneva talks, scheduled for July 1.