Demarcation talks with occupied regions “absolutely ruled out” - ruling party head

Irakli Kobakhidze, the head of the ruling Georgian Dream party, on Wednesday commented on the statement of the Russian foreign office. Photo: Georgian Dream press office, 15 Nov 2023 - 17:48, Tbilisi,Georgia

Irakli Kobakhidze, the head of the ruling Georgian Dream party, on Wednesday said “any talks” on demarcation or delimitation of “borders” between the Government and de facto authorities of the country’s Russian-occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) regions were “absolutely ruled out”. 

The official’s comment came on the heels of a statement by the Russian foreign office, which on Wednesday said Mikhail Galuzin, the Deputy Foreign Minister, had discussed the “latest incident of illegal border crossing of the South Ossetian border by Georgian citizens” - in reference to the killing of a Georgian citizen by Russian-controlled occupation forces in central Georgia earlier this month - with Co-chairs of Geneva International Discussions.

The Russian Ministry claimed the official had “raised the importance” of signing an agreement of “non-use of force” between Tbilisi and the breakaway regions, and starting the process of “delimitation of borders with a subsequent demarcation” to “prevent such incidents” in the future. 

In his response, Kobakhidze said the Georgian Government's foreign policy goals and priorities were “well-known to everyone”, and added talks on the issues were “ruled out”. 

The Geneva Discussions platform addresses security and humanitarian consequences of the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict, and is co-chaired by representatives of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, European Union and the United Nations, while involving delegates from Tbilisi, members of the de facto authorities from both regions, Russia and the United States.