Moscow Hails Tbilisi’s ‘Balanced’ Stance on Russia Sanctions

The Georgian Dream government received praise from Moscow and subsequently drew criticism from Kyiv over the stance on Russia sanctions amid Kremlin’s war against Ukraine.

Former Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin, Kremlin’s negotiator for informal dialogue with Tbilisi, said on March 24 that Georgia’s “balanced” stance on sanctions “will not go unnoticed” in Moscow.

Karasin, who also serves as Russia’s Federation Council Committee Chair on Foreign Affairs joined a “Georgian-Russian expert meeting,” organized by  Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund and the Primakov Georgian-Russian Public Center in Moscow.

“Sanctions regimes “train” the Russian state. The one who treats us honestly and speaks openly remains a friend,” said Karasin.

“We regard the post-Soviet space as traditional friends, the existing relations are characterized by mutual assistance. Russia is in favor of approaching everything calmly,” the Russian official noted.

Discussing the results of 26 meetings under the Karasin-Abashidze format since its launch by the GD government in 2012, he said Russia became Georgia’s second trade partner while Georgia increased exports to Russia 14 times since the lift of the embargo.

Karasin also stressed that for Russia and Georgia to achieve results on “main points” – supposedly referring to the question of occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, “we must remove the extreme positions.”

The Russian official’s remarks prompted Kyiv to criticize Tbilisi.

“… Karasin praises Georgia for not supporting the West’s sanctions on Russia and promises quid pro quo. Tbilisi – after all that Russia has done to you since 2008, don’t you feel ashamed?” tweeted spokesperson of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Oleg Nikolenko on March 25.

Georgia’s Deputy Speaker Retorts

“No such praise, no such reverence from the Russian Federation means anything to the Georgian government,” Georgian Deputy Parliamentary Chairman Archil Talakvadze told reporters on March 25.

“Of course, there are reasonable doubts that such statements are often made for destructive forces in the domestic political system of Georgia,” MP Talakvadze continued, pointing fingers at the United National Movement, the biggest opposition party in Georgia.

“After this statement [by Karasin], today and tomorrow, the National Movement and its media affiliates will be obsessed with this issue.”

Karasin’s remarks come as the Georgian Dream government faces widespread criticism over its controversial rhetoric on Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, for instance, repeatedly stated that Georgia would not join sanctions against Russia and that such measures were ineffective to stop Moscow from waging war against Ukraine.

Read Also:


Back to top button