Karasin, Abashidze announces no deal on Russia-Abkhazia’s new treaty

"Abashidze and Karasin are set to meet in Prague on March 4." Photo by Manana Kuzma.
Agenda.ge, 16 Oct 2014 - 20:37, Tbilisi,Georgia

A Kremlin proposed new treaty on ‘Alliance and Integration’ between Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia and Russia will not be reconsidered, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasinsaid after bilateral talks led by Georgian PM’s special envoy for relations with Russia in Prague today.

The Prague talks did not produce a deal under which Russia would reconsider the proposed new treaty with Abkhazia, which envisaged setting up a joint Russian-Abkhaz group of forces for collective defence.

"We had radically different visions and radically different estimations. On my side I explained what risks are associated with that possible treaty and what kind of difficulties it could create for the dialogue we have launched,” Georgian PM’s special envoy for relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze said after the meeting.

Abashidze believed Russia’s action to sign the treaty with Abkhazia would be considered in Tbilisi as "Moscow’s official action to step towards the annexation of Abkhazia.”

"I mentioned that the special legal conclusions will be made and [we will] spare no efforts to implement the international community in these processes,” Abashidze said.

Meanwhile a Russian diplomat challenged Tbilisi’s official position about the possible treaty being a step against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia. Karasin believed the "document did not abuse the status and sovereignty of Abkhazia”.

"My Georgian colleague asked with strict form questionabout the Russia-Abkhazia project. This issue is not the subject of our dialogue. I listened to his logic and on my side I explained to him our position properly,” Karasintold Georgian journalists.

"After the recent Presidential Election in Abkhazia, the new authority came into power and depending on their interests, we will sign the new treaty.”

Karasin believed the treaty aimed to ease cooperation and integration with Abkhazia in a variety of sectors including defence.

"This is not a threat for Abkhazia and annexation. Russia’s relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia (another of Georgia’s breakaway regions) will not be the subject of reconsideration,” he said.

"We [Russia] recognise both countries and [will] develop relations with them.” Russia recongised the independence of Georgia’s two breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia (Tskhinvali) in 2008 after the Russia-Georgia war in August.

No date for next round of Prague talks Calling off the next round of Prague Dialogue Today’s meeting between Russia’s Karasin and Georgia’s Abashidze ended on a civil note but it was the first time since the dialogue started that a date for the next round of talks was not set.

Informal bilateral dialogue betweenKarasin and Abashidzelaunched in late 2012 and covered mainly trade and economic related issues.

Abashidze believed Georgian authorities must now decide whether to call off the next dialogue.

"But my personal opinion is that we need to think long and hard before we call off the format and say that it is no longer necessary. It is very simple to refuse; only one call is required.If this happenswe need some new form of direct dialogue with Russia again,” Abashidze said.