Russia, Georgia end talks without agreement on security

Russia and Georgia concluded on Tuesday their 12th round of internationally-mediated talks, failing to reach any concrete agreement on resolving major security and humanitarian issues left over by their brief war in 2008.

EU Special Representative Pierre Morel, one of the co-chairs of the talks, said the parties met in a “constructive atmosphere” and “there was an availability and a readiness by all to move forward in order to improve the work that had been done until now.”

He added, however, that the participants of the talks “were also aware of the current difficulties and of the impossibility to solve them all at once.”

The major difficulty concerns the signing of a non-use of force agreement.

Morel said there was a strong demand from Russia for a specific agreement on the non-use of force, which the Russian representative said should be signed between Georgia and the two breakaway regions: South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Georgia, who continues to claim South Ossetia and Abkhazia as its territory despite Russia’s recognition of their independence, argued that Russia had military forces in the two regions so “parallel measures” should be taken in this regard.

The Geneva talks were initiated in October 2008, following a five-day war between Georgia and Russia over South Ossetia in August that year.

Participants include Russia, Georgia, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, the United States as well as the three mediators — the EU, the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The next round of talks were scheduled for October 14, Morel said.

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