Moscow Remarks on 2008 War Focus on Halted Geneva Talks

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s official statement on the 14th anniversary of the Russo-Georgian 2008 August War, presented by spokesperson Maria Zakharova, focused on the halted Geneva International Discussions (GID) and claimed it is “revenge on Moscow, within the framework of the collective West’s general line to isolate Russia” for invading Ukraine.

The MFA’s 8 August statement emphasized, that “the Geneva discussions became a hostage of geopolitics.” “We hope that our partners are aware that the illegitimate sanctions and other restrictive measures imposed against Russia… create additional difficulties for the already complex work within the framework of GID, discrediting the format itself, and the initial choice of [Switzerland] for the meetings,” they added.

The Russian Foreign Ministry underscored that it was the creation of GID which ensured that the region “managed to maintain an acceptable level of stability and security.”

“Recently, however, this important dialogue platform has been dominated by a politically motivated approach on the part of individual ‘players’ driven by their own selfish interests,” they said and added that this led to the 56th round of GID, originally slated for March, to be postponed twice this year.

Along this line, the MFA lambasted the GID co-chairs whose activity they said was “more like an imitation of efforts to unblock negotiations than a sincere desire to achieve real progress on this issue.”

The MFA said that by “unilaterally changing the rules of the game” Western partners themselves are making the matter of moving the talks out of Geneva to a more “neutral place” more urgent.

The Foreign Ministry concluded, “In the meantime, the prospects of holding a delayed round remain obscure. This is not our choice. All responsibility for the disruption of the negotiation process and its consequences lies entirely with the initiators of such destructive actions and those who indulge them.”

Responding to similar Russian accusations in the past in a comment with, EUSR Toivo Klaar said, “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 Geneva International Discussions is the multilateral forum to address the security and humanitarian consequences of the Russo-Georgian War of August 2008.

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