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Tbilisi Asks Moscow Talks in ICJ-Related Case
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 28 Jun.'11 / 00:49

In an attempt to pave way for its case against Russia in the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ), Tbilisi invited Moscow in formal negotiations over its allegations that Moscow committed "ethnic cleansing" in South Ossetia and "ethnically motivated violence" in Abkhazia.

In its case filed before the ICJ shortly after the August, 2008 war, Georgia claimed that Russia violated its obligations under the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) during three distinct phases of its interventions in South Ossetia and Abkhazia in the period from 1990 to August 2008.

On April 1 ICJ upheld Russia's one of the arguments and ruled that it had no jurisdiction to consider Georgia's case on its merit on the grounds that Tbilisi neither attempted to negotiate specifically CERD-related matters with the Russian Federation nor used other mode of dispute resolution before referring the case directly to ICJ.

Georgia said shortly after that ruling that it would try to resolve, what it called, “technical” problems - which was absence of formal talks with Moscow specifically on CERD-related matter - in order to pave the way for consideration of the case on its merit by the ICJ.

Three months later Georgia made a formal request to Russia via a mediator to launch these talks. A relevant note was handed over by Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister, Nino Kalandadze, to Swiss ambassador in Tbilisi. Switzerland acts as a mediator between Russia and Georgia after the two countries cut diplomatic relations following the August war. 

"Georgia took into consideration the Judgment of the International Court of Justice of April 1, 2011, in which the ICJ has established the fact of the existence of dispute between Georgia and the Russian Federation, however has indicated the necessity of holding direct negotiations between the two States in the framework of the above-mentioned Convention," the Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on June 27.

"It is noteworthy that Georgia has repeatedly attempted to resolve the disputes under Convention with Russian Federation through negotiations, including both prior to and since the commencement of major hostilities in August 2008, however no adequate reaction followed from Russian side," it said.

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