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Co-Chair of Geneva Talks Responds to Moscow’s Accusations

EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, Co-Chair of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) Toivo Klaar has reacted to recent accusations from Moscow over the postponement of the 56th round of GID.

Denis Gonchar of the Russian MFA accused the Co-Chairs from the EU, UN, and OSCE of “taking hostage” the negotiations, and slammed the postponement as an “unfriendly and politicized step.” MORE

“I don’t believe they [Gonchar’s comments] accurately reflect the decision by the Co-Chairs to postpone the recent round,” Toivo Klaar told Civil.ge.

“The decision to postpone the recent round was taken in order to protect the process and to avoid a situation where the international environment, in particular the war in Ukraine, would negatively affect the proceedings of the round itself and thereby of the GID as a whole.”

The EU Special Representative noted that while regular preparatory meetings in the run up to postponed 56th round of talks, originally slated for March, were indeed cancelled, their engagement continued with all GID participants.

“For instance, I have had meetings with my team in both Tbilisi and Sukhumi this week,” Toivo Klaar told Civil.ge.

He further asserted that the Co-Chairs are making every effort to keep the channels of communication open between the GID participants.

In this regard, he stressed that the meetings of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in Ergneti have continued as usual and the EUMM-managed Hotline is operating as before.

The EUSR underlined that “the Co-Chairs remain strongly committed to the Geneva process. It is indeed important to resume the discussion in Geneva as soon as possible and we are constantly reviewing the situation.”

“I am fully aware of the importance that also the populations attach to this process and I hope that it will be possible to soon resume in-person consultations for the benefit of confidence-building and peace efforts in the Geneva International Discussions,” EUSR Toivo Klaar concluded.

The Geneva International Discussions (GID) is the multilateral forum to address security and humanitarian consequences of the Russo-Georgian War of August 2008.

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