Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili on Tuesday ruled out Georgia’s participation in “any format that involves a country occupying Georgia’s territories”, after Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday said the Kremlin “assumed” Georgia would feature in a format of discussions over stability in the South Caucasus region.
Lavrov’s comments said “actions of the Georgian Government” were “based on national interests”, adding “this gives us reason to assume that a full-fledged 3+3 format may be launched in the near future”, in reference to participation of the two countries with Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Iran in discussions for stability in the region.
In his response, Papuashvili stressed Georgia’s “conditions” for participation were “known” and clarified they involved “de-occupation of the country’s territories”.
This is not the first time when we hear such a statement from Russia. Our position is also clear to them. [...] Our conditions are known and this is the de-occupation of the territories of Georgia”, he concluded.
The 3+3 format proposal came in 2020 from the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on the backdrop of recurring conflicts over the Nagorno-Karabakh region between Azerbaijan and Armenia, with Georgia refusing to take part due to the Kremlin’s involvement.
Georgia and Russia suspended their diplomatic ties following the war between the two states in 2008. However, the two countries have continued trade and economic discussions since 2013 under the Georgian Dream Government with an informal dialogue involving Zurab Abashidze, the Georgian Prime Minister’s Special Representative for relations with Russia, and Grigory Karasin, the former Russian Deputy Foreign Minister.