Karasin: Russia Won’t Retract Abkhazia, S. Ossetia Recognition

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The FINANCIAL — Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin, the country’s chief negotiator in the Geneva International Discussions, rejected the possibility of retracting the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in an attempt to reassure Georgia’s two breakaway provinces.

Commenting the remarks of Zurab Abashidze, Georgian PM’s special representative for relations with Russia, that Moscow will “ultimately” withdraw its recognition of the two regions, Grigory Karasin noted that “such speculations emerge occasionally” and added that “it is a rather crude attempt to instigate distrust” towards the Russian Federation, according to Civil.Ge.

“What they are based on is difficult to understand … The Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia are sovereign and independent states with which the Russian Federation shares a good-neighborly, friendly and allied relationships. This position has been and remains to be intact. Please remember this once and for all,” he stated. 

Speaking on the restoration of diplomatic ties between Moscow and Tbilisi, in his October 31 interview with STARVISION, Tbilisi-based multimedia platform, Zurab Abashidze noted that “it can not be on the agenda unless there is a progress in settling the problems related to our conflict regions.” 

He, however, added that “if the situation changes for better” and there will be “new realities” and “meaningful progress” in conflict settlement, Tbilisi would reconsider its positions.

Asked whether he deems the withdrawal of recognition possible, Zurab Abashidze responded that “it is possible and it will be so ultimately.”

“I do not know if this will happen this year or five years from now, but I am sure it will happen sooner or later … I think that many people in Russia are now coming to terms that the decision on the recognition of these regions as independent states was a big mistake. I can see it, I feel it and I hear it,” Abashidze stated.

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Abashidze’s October remarks resurfaced in the Russian-language media on February 26, prompting statements from the de facto Abkhaz and South Ossetian authorities.

The de facto Abkhaz Foreign Ministry said in its February 27 statement that Abashidze’s “attempts to try on the prophet’s mantle and … reverse the strategic nature of the Abkhaz-Russian relations” is “ludicrous” and “surprising.”

“Russian authorities have repeatedly stressed the irreversibility of the decision, and expecting a “turn” towards the Georgian leadership is absolutely senseless … The recognition of Abkhazia is not subject to revision,” the de facto Abkhaz Foreign Ministry stated.

“We call on the Georgian authorities again to stop indulging in the illusions and take a sober look at the existing realities,” the statement added.

Similar to the Abkhaz MFA, the de facto South Ossetian Foreign Ministry denounced Abashidze’s remarks in its February 28 statement as “prophesy” and said that the recognition of South Ossetia was “well-thought and justified politically.”

“Georgia’s position to reject the geopolitical realities, does not allow its politicians to take a sober look at the progress in the regional stability and security, which has been achieved since Russia’s recognition of South Ossetia,” the de facto South Ossetian Foreign Ministry stated.

The de facto Ministry also touched upon President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s recent remarks on the radioactive transit from Abkhazia and South Ossetia calling it a “nonsense.”


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