Georgia-Russia Peace Talks Already Broken

Internationally-backed peace talks between Georgia and Russia broke down on the first day Wednesday with the rivals, who fought a war in August, blaming each other for the failure to even enter the same room.

“There were two separate meetings, the Russians and the Abkhazians in one and the Georgians in another,” Sergei Shamba, foreign minister of the pro-Russian separatist region of Abkhazia, told journalists.

The talks would have been the first time representatives of the two sides have held direct negotiations since the five-day war after Russia thwarted a Georgian assault to retake its breakaway region of South Ossetia.

Russia has kept troops in South Ossetia and another rebel region, Abkhazia, and recognises both as independent states.

Pierre Morel, an official for the European Union, which organised the talks with the United Nations and Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe OSCE, blamed “procedural difficulties” for the quick suspension of the negotiations.

Georgia said that Russia had refused to meet its delegation. … Russia would not take part in any further talks with Georgia if representatives from South Ossetia and Abkhazia were not invited, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said.

The Americans injected a third element to the breakdown, with its head of delegation Daniel Fried saying that it was the South Ossetians and Abkhazians who failed to exhibit a “constructive spirit” to keep talks going.

via AFP: Georgia-Russia talks angrily break down


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