Monday, August 18, 2008

Moscow: Saakashvili not considered a party to negotiations

В Москве не рассматривают Саакашвили в качестве партнера по переговорам

Moscow does not consider Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili a party to negotiations. As stated in a press release from the Department of Information and the Press of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Moscow has more than once stated that there are no obstacles to negotiations with Georgia. "However, it should be clear to any person of sound mind that we do not consider Mikhail Saakashvili a party to negotiations," the release reads.

According to the release, "M. Saakashvili continues to make statements, in which he alternates between conjecturing and swearing, with rare mention of his readiness to resolve any of the issues with Moscow by 'civil dialogue.' It would be good to point out that on August 10th, when the ministers of foreign affairs of France and Finland, acting on behalf of the EU and OSCE, arrived in Tbilisi, M. Saakashvili along with the two ministers signed a commitment to abstain from hostile rhetoric. That this commitment hasn't been respected doesn't surprise us. However, it does raise questions about the worth of the signature of the Georgian leader, who hurls insults daily at the Russian Federation."

The Russian MFA noted that concrete negotiations for a prisoner exchange had been going on for the past few days. The exchange was to be made on August 18th, but at the last minute the Georgians put forward additional political conditions, and the exchange was broken off. "Tbilisi's attitude towards the humanitarian situation in particular demonstrates the real value of Saakashvili's statements concerning the necessity to 'find a framework for further mutual relations so that our countries don't drive each other away'," concludes the press release from the Department of Information and the Press of the Russian MFA.

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