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Russia-Abkhazia treaty and Georgia’s accession to NATO — failed agenda of Geneva discussions

A delegation from Georgia and US representatives at the 30th round of talks in Geneva have raised the issue of the Russia-Abkhazia treaty on alliance and strategic partnership «expressing a number of negative views on it," press office of the Abkhaz foreign ministry reports in a statement on the talks.

«The Abkhaz delegation provided all necessary explanations on the issue stressing positive role of the new treaty in strengthening sovereignty of the Republic of Abkhazia," the statement runs.

Actually, even before the talks, the Russian party expressed doubt whether Georgia should discuss the treaty within framework of the debates, as the subject was not new, while there had been a treaty with Abkhazia signed in 2008.

The Georgian delegation in its turn announced that the format of the debates did not suit discussions of its NATO accession and declined to debate. The question was raised by Russia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as, according to a note of the Russian foreign ministry, «against the backdrop of Georgia’s unrestrained striving to join NATO, the provision of a substantive cooperation package with Tbilisi during the NATO summit in Wales this past September, plans to establish NATO military infrastructure in Georgia and the resumption of talks on the delivery of new Western weaponry to Georgia, South Caucasus security issues are becoming particularly topical and require close attention.»

According to a statement by South Ossetia, the meeting was particularly focused upon discussing ways of preventing Georgia from using force against South Ossetia and Abkhazia and strengthening security and stability in the region. The question of non-use of force has been discussed since Aug 8 2008, when the discussions started in accordance with agreements reached by Dmitry Medvedev and Nicolas Sarkozy.

«During the debates, the South-Ossetian delegation once again called the participants to stir up activities in drafting bilateral treaties between Georgia and South Ossetia and Georgia and Abkhazia on non-use of force that are supposed to be legally binding and having solid international guarantees. Noting that preparation of those legally binding treaties that would guarantee safety to people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia was the key task and goal of the Geneva discussions, the South-Ossetian delegation proposed once again to pass a joint statement on adherence of all the participants to the no-use of force principle. However, the Georgian delegation citing factors having nothing in common with the Geneva process, abstained from defining its position on the issue. During a meeting of expert groups aimed at finalizing the text of a joint statement on non-use of force proposed by the Russian delegation, the participants failed to come to agreement," runs a statement by the directorate of the South-Ossetian president’s special representative on the post-conflict settlement.

The parties noted «positive developments» in the group on humanitarian issues.

The 30th round of Geneva consultations took place on Dec 9−10. The next round of talks is expected in March 2015.

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