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Tskhinvali Blames U.S. Diplomats for Disrupting Non-Use of Force Declaration
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 3 Apr.'18 / 15:25

Murat Jioev, representative of the Russian-backed Tskhinvali authorities at the Geneva International Discussions (GID), accused the United States diplomats of disrupting the joint non-use of force declaration at the March 27-28 round of the Geneva Talks.

Speaking on the matter yesterday, at his meeting with Tskhinvali leader Anatoly Bibilov, Murat Jioev said the American diplomats demonstrated “an extremely non-constructive” approach, and proposed “knowingly unacceptable” changes to the document. 

“Specifically, that the declaration would be adopted by countries that are participant to the August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement,” Jioev said, adding that with these changes, the U.S. “tried to separate South Ossetia and Abkhazia from [GID] participants.”

“We told them that we would not even consider this wording and that the American delegation was destabilizing the situation,” the Tskhinvali representative also noted.

Murat Jioev clarified the matter a day later, telling local media that the ceasefire agreement was signed by the then Russian and French Presidents, Dmitry Medvedev and Nicholas Sarkozy, respectively, and “agreed with the Georgian President later.”

Through their proposal, according to Jioev, the U.S. Delegation “attempted to exclude South Ossetia and Abkhazia from GID participants.” “We expressed our categorical protest to that, and reiterated that the discussions are held because Georgia carried out an aggression against South Ossetia,” he said.

“The South Ossetian delegation underlined that it is South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which require security guarantees most, and they need to be secure from repeat Georgian aggression,” Jioev added.

The 43rd round of Geneva International Discussions (GID) - the multilateral mediation forum to address security and humanitarian consequences of the Russo-Georgian War of August 2008 - was held on March 27-28. 

Despite prior statements that the participants were nearing to a consensus on a joint non-use of force declaration, the round ended without adopting one, with Tbilisi accusing Moscow of its “destructive approach,” and of intentionally “drawing the talks to a deadlock.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry, on its part, said the participants failed to agree on the document because of unaccepteble U.S. wordings “characterizing the August 2008 events.” The United States Mission to Geneva noted briefly that there was “no agreement” on a non-use of force statement.

The GID is co-chaired by the representatives of the OSCE, EU and UN, and involves diplomats from Georgia, Russia and the United States, as well as members of both the Georgian exiled administrations of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia and the two regions’ Russian-backed authorities.

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