Ongoing efforts to “normalize” Georgian-Russian relations will be endangered if the Kremlin-proposed new treaty with breakaway Abkhazia is signed, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on October 15.
Condemning draft of the treaty as a “step towards annexation” of Abkhazia, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said its signing will also “significantly damage” Geneva talks, launched after the August 2008 war.
The Foreign Ministry said the draft of “so called agreement” demonstrates that “Russia still continues violation of fundamental principles of the international law and ignoring its commitments.”
“Despite of extremely difficult problems related to Georgia’s de-occupation and restoration of its territorial integrity, two years ago the Georgian government offered Russia new format of dialogue for the purpose of confidence building. Implementation of this policy yielded positive results in economic, trade and humanitarian areas. We believe that this process also plays a positive role in strengthening stability and security in the region,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said referring to bilateral talks led by Georgian PM’s special envoy for relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, and Russia’s deputy foreign minister Grigory Karasin. Next round of these talks are scheduled in Prague this week.
“It should be noted that signing of this treaty will seriously endanger the process of normalization of the Georgian-Russian relations, and will significantly damage the Geneva international negotiations,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.
“It is unacceptable to speak on behalf of the people of the two countries in a preamble of the so called agreement, because, as it is widely known, majority of the population of Abkhazia was forcefully expelled from own homes, including through ethnic cleansing. Unfortunately, if this so called treaty is implemented, it will also seriously endanger self-identity of the Abkhaz population,” the Foreign Ministry said.
“We hope that the Russian authorities will refrain from signing of this so called agreement, otherwise it will be considered as a step towards annexation of Abkhazia with subsequent legal consequences.”
“We call on the international organizations and international community to pay special attention to this issue and this intention of Russia, implementation of which will change situation in the region in substance and will create additional problems to the European security,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.