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Communication agent from Switzerland2009-01-13 14:47
January 12, Tbilisi: the head of Switzerland's foreign department Michelin Calmy-Rey and Georgia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Grigol Vashadze exchanged the notes allowing official Bern to represent Tbilisi in Moscow.
It is not for the first time that Switzerland represents other countries. Moreover it is a traditional component of its foreign policy. There is an example of the USA relationships with Iran and Cuba.
And in mid December Calmy-Rey and Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov initiated the agreement on representation of Russian interests by the Swiss Embassy in Tbilisi. For this purpose an RF section including Russian diplomatic and administrative staff was established. Why was it needed?
As is known the official breakdown of diplomatic relations between Georgia and Russia took place in early September on Tbilisi's initiative and was directly connected with the August events. Grigol Vashadze who was Deputy Foreign Minister at that time made the following comment in his interview with ITAR-TASS:
"Georgia will have no diplomatic representations in Russia any more. We will preserve only the Consulate as according to the Vienna convention the breakdown of diplomatic relations does not necessarily mean cessation of consular relations. Operation of consulates in the territory of both countries is necessary for a significant number of Georgians living in Russia and Russians living in Georgia".
There was regret about it in Moscow: such an abrupt decision will have negative effect on the prospects in relationships between two countries in the future.
"This step does no good to civilized dialogue with the Georgian side and the discussion of the issues that are of mutual interest to both countries", - Russia's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Andrey Nesterenko stated at the press conference in Moscow on September 3.
In spite of the guarantees of both the parties concerning preservation of mutual consular functions in reality the issuance of visas was very complicated at that time. As a result many Russians and Georgians living in both countries as migrants had to cancel their planned trips.
For this reason Russia's Foreign Ministry Spokesman had to acknowledge: "In conditions when the two embassies are officially shut down it became legally impossible to solve many problems including consular and humanitarian issues".