OREANDA-NEWS. October 15, 2008. Question: International discussions on stability and security in Transcaucasia are beginning in Geneva tomorrow. With what is Russia going to these talks and what results does it expect from them?

Answer: The Geneva discussions opening on October 15 are being held in accordance with the agreements reached between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

We are convinced that these discussions must proceed dynamically, resulting in concrete agreements that will reliably guarantee the security of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

We expect that the said guarantees will bear a material and legally binding character. We regard the signing of agreements on the nonuse of force between Georgia and Abkhazia and between Georgia and South Ossetia as their central element. Until the entry into force of these agreements the Georgian side must strictly observe its commitment not to use force, of which the European Union acts as the guarantor. There are to be agreed in this context the specific parameters for the regime of security in the zones adjacent to Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

We also believe that it is expedient to work out a set of measures which would exclude the possibility of a recurrence of Georgia’s unbridled militarization, which prompted its present leadership to attack South Ossetia. An important part of these measures could be denying supplies of heavy and offensive weapons to the Georgian government.

Achieving a package of agreements on comprehensive security measures would help improve the situation in the region, restore trust gradually, and on this basis, create prerequisites for discussing the problem of refugees.

The Russian delegation in Geneva, led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs/State Secretary Grigory Karasin, is ready for businesslike and constructive work in accordance with the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan. Unfortunately, in the last few days our partners attempted to create an intrigue around issues relating to the composition of the participants and to the organizational aspects of the Geneva discussions. Our position on this score is clear and unchanged – without the participation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the elaboration of any agreements concerning their security is impossible. We will firmly proceed from this assumption.