Georgian FM: Russia fails to ensure functioning of Georgian section of Swiss Embassy

Georgian FM: Russia fails to ensure functioning of Georgian section of Swiss Embassy

Georgia , Tbilisi, Aug. 17 / Trend N.Kirtzkhalia /

Despite the repeated appeals of the Georgian Foreign Ministry, the Russian government has not ensured the normal and unimpeded functioning of the Georgian Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy in Russia, the Georgian Foreign Ministry reported.

On Aug.13, 2011 - for the second time in the same month - the power supply to the building housing the Georgian Interests Section (at 26/1 Ostozhenka St.) was cut at 10:40, and the Section had no choice but to suspend consular services to its citizens.

By acting in this manner, the Russian government is in violation of both the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and of the 'Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Swiss Confederation on the Swiss Confederation's representation of Georgian interests in the Russian Federation' signed through the exchange of diplomatic notes on 4 March 2009, the ministry's statement reads.

It is absolutely incomprehensible and unacceptable that the work of the Section has been interrupted to the detriment of ordinary citizens as a result of groundless demands voiced by the building's owners that have changed several times as a result of various corrupt transactions.

On 12 August 2011, during a meeting held at the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Georgian government suggested that consultations be held between the Georgian and Russian foreign ministries (in the presence of representatives of the Swiss government) with a view to ensuring the normal and unimpeded functioning of both the Georgian Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy in Moscow and of the Russian Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy in Tbilisi.

It should be noted that, on Aug.16 (exactly one day before the power supply to the Georgian Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy in Moscow was cut for the second time), the Georgian government was handed a statement by Mr. Lukashevich - an official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry - in which the Russian government expressed its refusal to hold such consultations.

With a view to resolving this state of affairs, the Georgian Foreign Ministry has set up a working group and is considering the possibility of the Georgian government taking retaliatory measures.

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