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Russia satisfied with results of Geneva talks on Caucasus

Geneva, 1 July: It is not planned so far to revise the format of the Geneva discussion on security and stability in the Caucasus, the head of the Russian delegation at the discussions, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigoriy Karasin, has said.

"We seriously discussed this problem today, the Russian side raised it. But during the discussion, the co-chairmen assured us that their organization, which they represent - the UN, OSCE, will continue to work actively and it is not necessary to shut the door," he told Interfax today, after the sixth round of the Geneva discussions which ended today.

"Everything will continue in the same format," Karasin noted.

According to him, the co-chairmen of the Geneva discussions from the UN and OSCE assured of their intention "to continue to work equally actively".

"We were glad to hear this and will judge by deeds," he emphasized.

He said the discussion of complex issues connected to settlement in the Caucasus is still going on both in Vienna (OSCE) and in New York (UN).

Karasin expressed satisfaction with the results of the sixth round of the Geneva discussions, which ended today.

"The sixth meeting as part of the discussions on stability and security in the Transcaucaus was rather heated but, fortunately, it ended on the whole on a fully constructive note for the region," he said.

According to Karasin, "the understanding is growing that it is necessary to approach the situation seriously, that it is necessary to stop repeating cliches concerning the territorial integrity of Georgia, which, unfortunately for Tbilisi, has not existed since August last year already and was destroyed by the Georgian side itself".

"It is necessary to get used to the new circumstances, to establish cooperation between all peoples and states living in the region. This process is taking place in a very complicated manner, through emotions, sometimes hard-hitting behaviour, but, unfortunately, we do not have another way out," Karasin emphasized. (Passage omitted)

Karasin said that they managed to agree to establish a mechanism for preventing and reacting to incidents not only between Georgia and South Ossetia, as it was before, but also between Georgia and Abkhazia.

"The first meeting as part of this mechanism (between Georgia and Abkhazia) should take place on 14 July in the town of Gali under the auspices of the UN, as far as I can understand, although this still has to be agreed," Karasin said.

The mechanism for the prevention of and reaction to incidents between Georgia and South Ossetia will also continue to function, however a concrete date for the upcoming meeting as part of this mechanism has not yet managed to be agreed, Karasin noted.

(According to a report by RIA Novosti at 1457 gmt on the same day, Karasin said that, during the discussions, the issue of changing the format of the Geneva consultations on Transcaucasus in view of the UN and OSCE mission's departure from the region was discussed. He also reported that the next meeting will be held on 17 September.

"This issue was discussed. Indeed, the situation in the region is alarming after the curtailment of the OSCE and UN presence. But now it is a matter of finding those options which would allow us to ensure security and stability in the region. The participants in the Geneva discussions have such chances today. We are concluding the discussions on a positive and constructive note and have agreed to hold the next meeting on 17 September," Karasin said.)