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Geneva: Russian-Georgian handshake2010-04-01 00:34
One of these days, another round of negotiations on safety and stability in the Caucasus was held in Geneva with the participation of the Georgian, Abkhazian and South-Ossetian representatives through the intermediary of Russia, UN, EU, OSCE and the USA. Certain progress has been achieved at last in the course of the discussions: the draft document on the non-use of force proposed by the Russian diplomats will be taken as a basis in the course of the next round of consultations in Geneva. Moreover, it has been a long time since the Russian and Georgian spokesmen shook hands.
As GeorgiaTimes reported earlier, Tbilisi officials has stated one of these days that the Georgian party would not sign the treaty on the non-use of force with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which the young republics considered to be an important step from the standpoint of safety ensuring in the Caucasus. The point is that the signing of the legally binding document on the non-use of force in the South Caucasus was mentioned right after the August 2008 tragic events. However, despite the international mediation in the negotiations between Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Geneva, no progress has been achieved in the agreement execution.
In the course of the discussions, the Abkhazian, South-Ossetian, Georgian and Russian parties have already submitted their versions of the new safety architecture project for the South Caucasus, while European Union has submitted its basic elements. Despite the minimalism, until yesterday, Tbilisi officials have been saying that they regard the document version proposed by EU as "a stride forward in the right direction".
Anyway, the diplomats from Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia had to come to an agreement, so long as the discussions in Geneva have been held for almost a year and a half but the Swiss negotiations have brought no definite result so far. In this aspect, the South-Ossetian delegation members have warned that if the agreement on the non-use of force is not signed this time, South Ossetia retains the right to withdraw from negotiations, as the Commersant newspaper reported.
Nevertheless, in the course of the tenth round of negotiations held between the parties, an agreement was achieved that the Russian party's project on the non-use of force will be taken as a basis of the consultations at the next round of Geneva discussions. According to South-Ossetian Presidential Envoy on Post-Conflict Settlement Boris Chochiev, Russia's new project has been accepted by all the participants of the discussion. "We are sure this project will serve as a basis for the future guarantees of the non-use of force against South Ossetia and Abkhazia", - VZGLYAD is citing him.