Russia-Georgia talks collapse in acrimony

Internationally backed talks to resolve Russia-Georgia tensions following last year's war collapsed Monday in acrimony as the Russian side walked out and the Georgians accused them of blackmail.

The Russians abandoned the Geneva meeting after complaining about the absence of the delegation from the Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia, which boycotted the event, a diplomatic source told AFP.

"The Russians left in the middle of the talks along with the Ossetians," the source said, referring to another separatist Georgian region, South Ossetia, which was at the centre of last August's conflict.

"They felt there was no reason to discuss security in the Caucasus without the Abkhazians," the source added.

In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said his delegation had decided to "take a pause" until Tuesday.

"The basic conditions required to guarantee this round of talks were not respected," he told Russian news agencies.

Mediators said they would try to resume the two-day meeting on Tuesday.

Georgia's Deputy Foreign Minister Giga Bokeria reacted angrily to the walk-out, accusing Russia of trying to "blackmail the international community.

"This shameful step is yet another violation of the European Union-brokered ceasefire agreements and of the latest UN resolution," he told AFP.

The United States said it was "dismayed" at the walkout.

"The fact that the walkout occurred before any substantive discussions began clearly signals a coordinated effort to undermine the Geneva talks," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters in Washington.

The meeting was the latest in a series of talks that began in October 2008 under the joint auspices of the United Nations, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The mediators issued a joint statement saying they "strongly regret the walk-out" by the Russian and South Ossetian delegations.

"The co-chairs are working for the resumption of the discussions tomorrow morning, 19 May, as planned and call upon all participants to be present," the EU, the UN and the OSCE added.

France also urged talks to resume.

"We call on all parties (to resume) from May 19 their participation in the international discussions in Geneva, which are an essential element for the stabilisation of the region and resolving humanitarian questions," the French foreign ministry said in a statement.

Diplomats said earlier they hoped Abkhazian officials might still participate in Tuesday's second and final day on talks. This now looks unlikely.

Abkhazia had threatened on Saturday to boycott the discussions in protest at how the United Nations had described the region's status. They made good on that threat by failing to turn up when the talks began.

In UN reports the region is referred to as Abkhazia, Georgia. This infuriates representatives of the Moscow-backed region since it implies the separatist-minded territory is part of Georgia.

A new UN report was due out in New York late Monday and Lavrov said he was waiting to see its contents.

The rebel regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are regarded by Russia as independent states but most of the world still recognises them as part of Georgia.

Diplomats had expected things to be rocky at the Geneva talks because of several events in recent weeks which underscored the lingering tensions in the region.

Earlier this month the Georgians accused Russia of encouraging a mutiny by army officers at a barracks near the capital Tbilisi on the eve of NATO military exercises.

Also, a security meeting between Georgian, Russian and South Ossetian officials was called off on May 7 because of disagreements about where it would be held. Tbilisi and Moscow blamed each other for the cancellation.

At the last round of talks in Geneva in February, Russia and Georgia took the first concrete steps to preventing new clashes by accepting proposals to open up more immediate channels of military communication.

But several other security problems, including key issues relating to militia movements and force build-ups, remain unresolved.

Other outstanding issues include finding an agreement on providing humanitarian aid to Georgian populations in South Ossetia and the return of refugees.

Russian troops and tanks poured into Georgia in early August 2008 to repel a Georgian assault on the breakaway region of South Ossetia, which had received extensive backing from Moscow for years.

Russian forces occupied swathes of the country, but later withdrew to within South Ossetia and another rebel region, Abkhazia, which Moscow simultaneously recognised as independent states.

Kazakhstan decreases imports from Austria
Kazakhstan decreases imports from Austria
Austria interested in further promoting economic co-op with Turkmenistan
Austria interested in further promoting economic co-op with Turkmenistan
Kazakhstan, Spain trade down nearly threefold amid COVID-19
Kazakhstan, Spain trade down nearly threefold amid COVID-19
Loading Bars
Latest
Georgia reduces imports of construction materials from Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan reduces import of cigarettes from Georgia
Residents of Barda fully confident in Azerbaijani army - Executive authority
Georgia increases oil import from Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan reveals details of casualties, injuries in Tartar inflicted by Armenian troops
Electricity production using renewable energy sources increases in Kazakhstan
Azerbaijan increases import of passenger cars from Georgia
Kazakhstan decreases imports from Austria
Precious metal prices in Azerbaijan down
Austria interested in further promoting economic co-op with Turkmenistan
People like Vladimir Yevseev call on Armenia to commit war crimes - Israeli expert
Ronaldinho films video message in support of Azerbaijan
Missile-hit area of Azerbaijan's Barda city targeted purposefully - Executive Office
Armenian military-political leadership to be punished soon – Azerbaijani prosecutor general
Kazakhstan, Spain trade down nearly threefold amid COVID-19
Bashkortostan boosts fuel export to Uzbekistan
President Ilham Aliyev calls President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Azerbaijan confirms 483 more COVID-19 recoveries
Small industrial zone to be created in Uzbekistan’s Tashkent
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva congratulates brotherly people of Turkey on 29 October-Republic Day
Kazakhstan, Austria agree on Action Plan of Kazakhstan-Austrian Business Council for 2021
Armenian leadership shelled Tartar ignoring visit of diplomats - President's aide
Azerbaijani currency rates for Oct. 29
China's premium car buyers drive VW back to profit
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for October 29
Kraft Heinz third-quarter sales beat estimates
Bahar Azadi gold coin price again rising in Iran
Georgia has record high grape harvest in past 30 years
Int'l journalist sends Letter to Joe Biden in regards to his statement on Karabakh
Armenia shells Goygol district, fire breaks out in forest - Ministry of Emergency Situations
Joint technical committee to be set up related to Khudafarin & Giz Galasi hydro junctions
ADB approves loan to support Georgia’s economic recovery
Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan increases value of its agricultural production
Turkmenistan plans to increase natural gas supplies to China
Armenian servicemen, who fire at civilians in Azerbaijan’s Barda, killed on battlefield (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan shoots down two Su-25 of Armenia – Defense ministry
Aircraft of Azerbaijani Armed Forces not involved in today's battles - Defense Ministry
Turkish Airlines to launch multiple charter flights to Georgia
Georgia's economic growth rate to up
Armenia used cluster bombs prohibited by all int'l conventions to attack civilians in Barda - Assistant to First Vice President of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s all Smerch multiple rocket launchers fully operational – Defense ministry
Azerbaijan's Zangilan city liberated not long before 27-year anniversary of its occupation
Azerbaijan hands over bodies of soldiers, captured civilians to Armenia - president's aide
Azerbaijan bombing maternity hospital in Nagorno-Karabakh's Khankendi - fake
Top Iranian cleric condemns Armenia killing innocents in Azerbaijan's Barda city
Azerbaijan to become regional leader in energy efficiency - EU4Energy manager
Assessment of Turkmenistan's hydrocarbon resources published
Barda is beautiful and strong with reinforced determination - top official
Azerbaijani MPs to observe parliamentary elections in Georgia
Georgian vegetable oil company Qarva expanding its business
Assistant to Azerbaijani president, foreign diplomats visit Tartar
Kazakh-Chinese bitumen plant opens tender to buy electric materials
Neighboring countries increase demand to buy subsidized Iranian products
IFRC president makes statement on death of volunteer following Armenia's Barda shelling
Azerbaijan gives update on civil casualties, damages, following Armenia's attacks
Eni’s capex almost halves year-on-year
Criminal case opened on fact of Armenia's missile attack on Azerbaijan's Barda
Destroying historical monuments in Karabakh - against cultural identity of Azerbaijanis
Azerbaijani prosecutor general discloses number of victims of Armenian terror
OSCE MG either unable or uwilling to solve Karabakh conflict - Erdogan
IFRC Europe Office makes statement on Azerbaijani volunteer killed as result of Armenian shelling
Launch process for water and electricity facilities in Iran continues
Azerbaijani Armed Forces driving away Armenian troops like dogs – Assistant to president
Armenian Armed Forces cowardly flee from battlefield – Assistant to Azerbaijani president
Kazakhstan’s Intergas Central Asia opens tender for equipment maintenance
Generation capacity Iran's power plants grows
Armenia hostile to entire Islamic world, says Algerian analyst
LUKOIL optimistic about prospects for co-op with Turkmenistan
Heavily injured in Armenia's attack on Azerbaijan's Barda, brought to Baku
Azerbaijani FM’s visit to Geneva postponed
Foreign diplomats arrive in Barda, which is still under fire by Armenian troops (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan condemns publication of Charlie Hebdo about Turkish president - Assistant to Azerbaijani president
Azerbaijani oil prices decrease
New refrigeration facility for food opens in Georgia's Kakheti region
To liberate occupied lands, Azerbaijani Army striking military targets, but without harming civilians - MoD
Eni increases natural gas production at its Kazakhstan-based fields
Winter wheat planting completed in Turkmenistan’s Akhal region
Armenian leadership to be held accountable - Prosecutor General (PHOTO)
Loans to entrepreneurs increased in Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan
ANAMA reveals details of Armenian attacks on Azerbaijan's Barda
Central Banks of Iran announces volume of foreign currency put up for sale
Assistant to Azerbaijani President arrives in Barda, Tartar together with diplomatic corps (PHOTO)
Foreign exchange reserves of Azerbaijan's CB increase
Ambassador of France in Azerbaijan makes statement on Armenian missile attack on Barda
Industrial production increased in Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic
Certain facilities launched in Iran’s water and electricity sectors
Belarusian airlines announces another suspension of flights to Turkmenistan
New York Times prepares article covering Armenian missile attack on Azerbaijani Barda
Eni lowers oil&gas output amid COVID-19, OPEC+ commitments
Azerbaijani General Prosecutor's Office assessing damage in liberated territories
Iran to boosts gas production
Armenia grew narcotic plants in occupied Azerbaijani territories - Ecology Ministry
Debris of missiles fired at Azerbaijani Barda (PHOTO)
Targeting innocent civilians shows that Armenia prefers cruel, hideous methods of warfare - Azerbaijani embassy in US
Equinor sees increase in natural gas sales volumes
Turkmenistan organizes charter flight from Russia’s Tatarstan amid COVID-19
TCCI meeting with special emphasis on 'Supporting Azerbaijan' to be held
Equinor’s liquids, gas production up due to new fields
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale October 31
Military equipment left on battlefield by Armenian Armed Forces (VIDEO)
All news