Russia refuses responsibility for murder of Georgian man near Abkhazia ABL

"Abashidze and Karasin are set to meet in Prague on March 4." Photo by Manana Kuzma., 27 Jun 2016 - 17:56, Tbilisi,Georgia

Special envoys representing Georgia and Russia met today in Prague, Czech Republic, for the latest round of talks between the two nations.

Today’s meeting between Georgia’s Special Envoy to Russia Zurab Abashidze and Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin typically revolved around economic and humanitarian issues however Georgia’s envoy launched the meeting by speaking about the recent murder of a Georgian citizen by a Russian-controlled border guard on Georgian territory.

Abashidze repeated the Georgian Government’s position and stressed the border guard who callously murdered 31-year-old Giga Otkhozoria on May 19 "must be arrested and appropriately punished.” 

Issues like the murder of Giga Otkhozoria aren’t generally discussed at Prague meetings with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin but in this case we believed it was imperative to raise the issue,” said Abashidze after the meeting.

The Georgian official reiterated that last week’s verdict by the Military Court of de facto Abkhazia about sentencing the accused border guard to home detention was "inadequate.” 

He also said both the Russian and Abkhazian side shared the responsibility of the murder. 

In response Karasin said Russia had no responsibility for the murder and it was the obligation of de facto Abkhazia to investigate the case and punish the offender. 

On another note, Karasin said he "loves Georgia” and "wishes to see stability in the country after the October 8 Parliamentary Elections”. 

He added Russia was "interested” in the election outcome. 

At the end of the meeting both officials said the meeting was constructive. Abashidze said one positive result of the meeting was the release of the seventh Georgian person who had been imprisoned in Russia for spying. 

The first Abashidze-Karasin meeting took place in 2012 in Geneva. The Abashidze-Karasin talks are limited in scope to economic and other practical issues and are the only direct communication between Georgia and Russia.