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U.S. Official on Russia’s Decision to Lift Abkhaz Sanctions
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 8 Mar.'08 / 17:30

The United States regrets Russia’s decision to pull out from the Abkhaz sanctions treaty, Daniel Fried, the acting U.S. under secretary of state for political affairs, said on March 8. He also said he did not think Russia would “do something extreme like recognize Abkhazia.”

“We don’t understand how it contributes to stability in the South Caucasus. We don’t see how it contributes to a resolution of the Abkhazian conflict or to better Georgian-Russian relations,” he said in a phone interview with the Georgian Rustavi 2 TV. “The Abkhazian conflict is a complicated one and it can only be resolved through peaceful means and through dialogue.”
 
He also said that he hoped the Georgian authorities would pursue diplomatic solutions “to make clear that it isn’t engaged in and doesn’t intend to engage in military adventurism.”

He pointed out that the United States had already raised the issue with Russia. “We’ve asked the Russian Foreign Ministry why they’ve done this and what their intentions are…  We do have a dialogue with Russia about these issues,” the U.S. diplomat said.

He also said: “I do not believe that Russia will do something extreme like recognize Abkhazia. They certainly know that this would meet with fierce resistance and a very strong reaction from the International community.”

Fried reiterated U.S. support for Georgia’s NATO integration and noted that Georgia had “made great progress in recent years, both economically and politically, despite the problems last November.”

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