The most recent, sixteenth round of Geneva talks on June 7 has clearly demonstrated “increasing aggressiveness of the Georgian delegation,” Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on June 9.
“They tried to write off all the failures of Tbilisi’s leadership in domestic and international affairs to Russia’s intrigues. The Georgian side has arbitrarily accused Russian special services of organizing some kind of ‘terrorist acts’ on the territory of Georgia,” he said and added it was noteworthy that one of such allegation was voiced just on the eve of the sixteenth round of Geneva talks.
The Georgian Interior Ministry said that it had foiled two terrorism attempts in June with one of them allegedly plotted by a Russian security officer based in Abkhazia and another one by Russian officer stationed in South Ossetia. The Georgian Foreign Ministry said that there was incontrovertible evidence proving these allegations.
Georgia said after the sixteenth round of Geneva talks that they would consider walking out of talks if “Russia continues state-sponsored terror campaign against Georgia.”
Lukashevich said that facts on the ground indicated that Georgia itself was contributing to tensions in the region and accused the Georgian Interior Ministry’s special task forces of carrying out twelve “raids” in Gali district of breakaway Abkhazia this year.
“These actions are organically connected with an anti-Russian campaign of spy mania in Georgia, attempts to find some kind of ‘Russian trace’ in the action of Georgia’s internal opposition,” Lukashevich said.
Apart of what Georgia says were "terrorist attempts" a period between fifteenth and sixteenth rounds of Geneva talks saw two major incidents on the ground - one in early April, when a Russian FSB's border guard serviceman and two Georgians were killed in a shootout in Gali and another one in May when two Georgian civilians were wounded in a shooting at the South Ossetian administrative border.
Lukashevich said that during the sixteenth round of Geneva talks the Russian negotiators stressed the need of EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) “to control more thoroughly” the Georgian forces in areas adjacent to the breakaway regions.
Tbilisi is insisting on Russia to reciprocate Georgia's non-use of force pledge with a similar commitment, but Russia, arguing that it is not a party into the conflict, refuses and instead calls on Tbilisi to sign, what it calls, "legally binding non-use of force treaties" with Tskhinvali and Sokhumi.
In other developments during the sixteenth round of Geneva talks, Lukashevich said that Russia had again called for a legally binding non-use of force agreement between Tbilisi and Sokhumi and Tbilisi and Tskhinvali.
Last year Russia proposed unilateral non-use of force declarations to be made separately by Tbilisi, Sokhumi and Tskhinvali. But after President Saakashvili made such unilateral non-use of force pledge at the European Parliament on November 23, Moscow again started to insist on a written agreement between the sides, but at the same time refusing to make itself part of such agreement, claiming that is a mediator not a party into the conflict.
“Obstinate refusal of the official Tbilisi to see representatives from Abkhazia and South Ossetia as equal partners in negotiations leads to impeding to resolving whole set of problems related to return of refugees and internally displaced persons,” Lukashevich said.