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Georgia: time to make a choice2010-01-28 18:29
Another round of negotiations between the representatives of Georgia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Russia, USA, EU, UN and OSCE is going to be held in Geneva today concerning the situation in the South Caucasus. The parties are intended to discuss the issues of safety and the problems of refugees. Moscow is also going to raise the issue of signing an agreement on Tbilisi's nonaggression against Sukhum and Tskhinval. In its turn, Georgia will acquaint the participants of the discussions with the strategy developed in respect of the young republics. According to the Georgian strategists, the document is aimed at peaceful cooperation with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The point is that these
assurances have got nothing in common with the increased military potential of Georgia.
The issue of returning the refugees has been often raised by the Georgian political analysts of lately. Tbilisi's position means that Abkhazia and South Ossetia refuse to accept those people who left their homes during the latest conflicts. However, Sukhum and Tskhinval believe that those who wanted to come back have already done it. As to the current situation, the issues of safety in the near-border zone remain of higher priority for the young republics: Russia helps keeping the borders shut to avoid the possible terrorist and subversive acts on the part of Tbilisi. Of course, this is not going to last forever.
Last December, Head of MFA of Abkhazia Sergey Shamba stated that after Georgia's withdrawal from the Moscow agreement Abkhazia has got no liabilities on returning the refugees in its territory. "When Abkhazia started bringing the people back unilaterally, the Georgian authorities openly announced that they are not interested in it until Georgia's jurisdiction over the republic is established", - he said. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov supported his colleague: he underlined that the Georgian refugees will be able to return to Abkhazia only as soon as the legal grounds are settled for that. Moreover, Sukhum has already performed its obligations as to the settlement of the issue of returning the refugees of the near-border Galskiy region. This was stated by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.