Russia and Abkhazia signed memorandum on coordinated foreign policy

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Moscow “will provide political assistance to Abkhazia” to strengthen its international positions, said the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

 

After the talks in Moscow the Russian and Abkhazian Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov and Vyacheslav Chirikba signed the Memorandum on the implementation of the coordinated foreign policy. Russia will continue providing all the possible political and practical assistance with strengthening the international positions of Abkhazia, stated Sergey Lavrov after the talks with the Abkhazian counterpart.

 

“We have agreed to strengthen the legal framework, including such areas as defense, security, social and humanitarian spheres. We have stated the intensive work on deepening our economic cooperation and promoting the development of Abkhazia. This is the aim of the investment program for 2015-2017, which is being successfully implemented,” admitted the Russian Minister.

 

Lavrov added that the specific issues that had to be addressed in future would be considered at the 10th session of the intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation that would be held in the end of March in Sukhumi.

“We have discussed the coordination of our actions in the international arena in the actual difficult situation in the world. The signed Memorandum on the implementation of the coordinated foreign policy will contribute to tackling the problem. Russia will continue providing all the possible political and practical assistance with strengthening the international positions of Abkhazia. In particular, we’ll continue training diplomatic staff for Abkhazia at the Moscow State University of International Relations (MSUIR) and at the Diplomatic Academy,” informed Lavrov. 

Geneva talks and situation in Ukraine 

The parties touched the Geneva talks on security in Transcaucasia.

“We have considered our delegations’ participation in the upcoming round of these consultations. We will strive to sign legally binding agreements on non-use of force, which would prevent the repetition of the tragic events of 2008,” the Minister explained.

 

“We have discussed the situation in Ukraine. Our countries stand for the full and comprehensive implementation of the Package of Measures on peaceful settlement signed on February 12 in Minsk. Our Abkhazian colleagues have told about the steps they are taking right now, including their humanitarian support to the south-east of Ukraine and inviting Ukrainian children to rest in Abkhazia. Such work deserves great respect,” added Lavrov.

 

Favorable conditions for border crossing

Russia and Abkhazia will take the necessary steps to create the most comfortable conditions for crossing the border between the two countries, said the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

 

“There are two dimensions of this issue. The first dimension is a strategic one, and its answer is in the Treaty on alliance and strategic partnership. We are moving towards a maximum rapprochement of all the spheres of life that are important for our citizens. I am convinced that this goal will be gradually achieved,” highlighted Lavrov.

 

According to the Minister, the immediate objective is “to do the utmost to create the most comfortable conditions (technically and technologically) for crossing the border, in particular at Adler’s checkpoint.”

“Today, we have discussed it in details. We have agreed to take the necessary steps in collaboration with our customs and border services,” specified Lavrov.

Customs control

Moscow will watch a clear implementation of the guidelines of the agreement on the basic principles of the monitoring mechanism of customs administration and goods turnover signed between Russia and Georgia in 2011, said Sergey Lavrov.

 

“This agreement does not infringe the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as new independent states and does not impose any obligations. The document can’t be implemented on the territory of these republics. It deals only with Russia and Georgia, considering their borders set in August 2008. Now we aspire to implement the agreement. A Swiss private company will conduct an audit of customs statistics,” stated Lavrov.

The Abkhazian Foreign Minister, in his turn, expressed confidence that the agreement would not have a negative impact on trade between Russia and Abkhazia.

 

Text and pictures by TASS