Georgian Prime Minister’s special representative for Russia, Zurab Abashidze held an online meeting on November 24 with Russia’s Federation Council Committee Chair on Foreign Affairs Grigory Karasin. The meeting is as part of the informal, direct bilateral dialogue launched between the two countries in late 2012.
During the discussion, Abashidze highlighted the deteriorating humanitarian situation, human rights abuses, including arbitrary detentions, and the military build-up in Russian-occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, the Georgian PM’s press office stated.
According to the same report, the Russian side was interested in Georgia’s position on the so-called 3+3 platform, a format that would bring together Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkey, and Iran. Abashidze stressed that Georgia does not consider participating.
The sides also took note of positive dynamics in trade between Georgia and Russia and paid attention to the issue of protecting interests and solving problems of companies involved in trade and transportation.
Besides, the parties discussed the need to coordinate in ensuring that the ongoing repair and infrastructure works around the Larsi border crossing point, the only one legally operated between the two countries, does not reduce the volume of traffic and freight.
They also expressed readiness to support expert working groups’ activities and the implementation of the 2011 Swiss-mediated customs monitoring agreement on Georgian-Russian cargo, according to the report.
Russian Foreign Ministry stated on November 25 that the Russian side expressed hope that the 2021 local elections in Georgia will “contribute to normalizing the internal political situation in the country, halting anti-Russian manifestations and creating conditions for the resumption of the process of normalization of Russian-Georgian relations.”
According to the statement, the Russian side also drew attention to the opportunities the 3+3 format would open up for Georgia by unblocking transport and communications.
The parties also reaffirmed to resolve the problems with Georgian diplomatic real estate in Moscow and Russian diplomatic real estate in Tbilisi on the basis of the principle of reciprocity, the press statement added.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the sides agreed to hold the next meeting in spring of 2022 in-person, provided the pandemic allows having face-to-face discussions.
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