Mar 26, 2014

Abkhazia: Discussion On Security And Stability In The Transcaucasus

The 27th round of talks on security and stability in Transcaucasus will take place in Geneva this week. The issue of the non-use of force in the area will be discussed.

Below is an article published by ITAR-TASS News Agency:

The 27th round of discussions on efforts to ensure security and stability in the Transcaucasus will take place in Geneva on Wednesday [26 March 2013].

The delegations of Abkhazia, Georgia, Russia, the United States, and South Ossetia will take part in the consultations under the auspices of the UN, the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Wednesday's discussion will be traditionally held in the format of two task groups on security issues and on humanitarian matters.

Russia's delegation is headed by Grigory Karasin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, that of South Ossetia by Murat Dzhioyev, presidential plenipotentiary representative for post-conflict settlement matters, the Abkhas one by Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Chirikba, and the Georgian one by Deputy Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani.

The principal item on the agenda will traditionally be elaboration of reliable guarantees of non-use of force on the part of Georgia against neighboring states. Russia's initiative suggests the adoption of a joint statement by all participants in the Geneva discussions on non-use of force.

Incidentally, efforts to fix such a statement fail because Tbilisi, for status considerations, refuses to agree to such a step, demanding that Russia issue a unilateral statement on non-use of force against Georgia. Moscow does not consider itself a party to the conflict of five years ago and therefore consistently refuses to conclude such an accord with Tbilisi.

The latest meeting in this format was held in Geneva in December last year, with participants in discussion failing event to make a joint oral statement on non-use of force, as is set out in the UN Charter and in the Helsinki Conference's Final Act. Such an initiative was proposed by the delegations of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. However, the Georgian negotiators rejected it. A review of the operation of mechanisms for the prevention and reaction to incidents in the area of the South Ossetia-Georgia and Abkhazia-Georgia borders is expected to be made within the scope of this round.

Discussions on matters concerning security and stability in the Transcaucasus have been held in the course of five and a half year on the strength of the understandings reached by the Presidents of Russia and France after the tragic events of August 2008 in South Ossetia.