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Geneva discussions: Georgia’s wish to join NATO is dangerous for Abkhazia and South Ossetia

During the last round of the Geneva discussions on the situation in the South Caucasus, the Russian and South Ossetian parties gave necessary explanations concerning the alliance and integration treaty signed by Russia and South Ossetia on Mar 18.

According to Russia’s foreign ministry, the sides pointed out that the treaty was important for further relations between Russia and South Ossetia and was not aimed against any third states.

During the discussions, the security group confirmed that Abkhazia, Georgia and South Ossetia must sign agreements on nonuse of force as a guarantee of peace and stability in the South Caucasus.

“The Abkhazian and South Ossetian delegations were ready to sign such agreements,” Russia’s foreign ministry says.

“They also expressed concern about Georgia’s plans to further integrate into NATO. They believe that this is a direct threat to the security of their republics and a contradiction to the agreements signed in Aug 2008 and used as the basis for the Geneva process. They are especially worried to know that NATO is going to create an infrastructure and to organize military exercises in the Georgian territory,” the ministry says.

“All of the sides admitted that the situation on the borders of South Ossetia and Abkhazia with Georgia has become much more stable due to the efforts of Russian border guards acting in line with agreements on joint border protection,” the Ministry says.

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In the humanitarian group, the Abkhazian delegation stressed the need to ensure free movement of Abkhazian citizens by recognizing their national passports. They also urged the world community to help Abkhazia to preserve its historical monuments and to oblige Georgia to give copies of archives on Abkhazian history.

The South Ossetian delegation stressed the need to search for missing people and to set free South Ossetians kept in Georgian prisons.

The Georgian delegation asked for access to Georgian religious sites located in the territory of South Ossetia.

“The South Ossetian and Abkhazian delegates confirmed their commitment not to discuss the problems of refugees until Georgia stopped politicizing that humanitarian issue at the UN GA in New York. The Russian side expressed support for that approach,” the ministry says.

The next meeting is scheduled for June-July 2015.

The Geneva discussions have been held since Oct 2008 on the basis of the agreements reached by the Russian and French presidents following Georgia’s aggression against South Ossetia. The discussions are held by delegations of South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Georgia, Russia and the United States under the aegis of the EU, the OSCE and the UN.

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