Georgian PM’s special representative for relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin met in Prague September 19.
It was the fourth such meeting between the two diplomats in frames of a format launched in December to address issues related mainly with trade, economy, humanitarian and cultural aspects of bilateral relations.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the meeting was held in “constructive and benevolent atmosphere, which helped to make progress on number of practical issues.”
It said this format of “informal dialogue” is aimed at “normalizing” bilateral relations in the areas where the progress is possible in the condition of absence of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the two diplomats noted “positive dynamic” in trade and transport as Georgian wines, mineral waters and some agriculture products were allowed back on the Russian market.
“The Russian side is carrying out gradual liberalization of visa requirmnets for the purpose of broadening contacts between business circles and of providing more flexible approach in issuing Russian visas upon private invitations, primarily for supporting ties between families and relatives,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Georgian PM’s special envoy for relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, said that during the meeting he conveyed to his Russian interlocutor Georgian government’s “deep concern” over continued installation of fences by the Russian troops across the South Ossetian administrative boundary line.
“It represents a gross violation of international and humanitarian norms,” Abashidze said after the meeting.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the both diplomats noted that this informal dialogue represents a separate, independent framework and its agenda does not overlap the one which is being discussed in frames of the Geneva talks, launched after the August, 2008 war.
The two diplomats have also exchanged views about future prospects of the bilateral dialogue, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The next meeting between Abashidze and Karasin is scheduled for December.