Report of the South Ossetian delegation on the results of the 58th round of the International Discussions on Security and Stability in Transcaucasia

Женевские дискуссии

The next round of the Geneva International Discussions on security and stability in Transcaucasia were held on July 11-12, 2023 in Geneva. The meeting was attended by the delegations of the Republic of South Ossetia, the Republic of Abkhazia, Georgia, the Russian Federation, the USA, as well as the representatives of the EU, UN, OSCE. The South Ossetian delegation was headed by State Advisor to the President of the Republic of South Ossetia K. K. Kochiev.

The discussions were held in two working groups; on security and humanitarian issues.

It was once again noted by the participants that the Geneva discussions remain a factor in maintaining stability and the only platform for discussing emerging issues and threats that require attention, and continuous pause in the Geneva process creates risks for regional security. The participants welcomed the return to the predictable regularity of meetings of the GID.

The atmosphere of the meeting was negatively affected by anti-Russian campaign in Georgia, which was accompanied by aggressive rhetoric against South Ossetia and Abkhazia, but the attempt of the Georgian participants to transfer the rally hysteria from the streets of Tbilisi to the Geneva site was unsuccessful.

The South Ossetian, Abkhaz and Russian participants paid priority attention to the necessity of developing a legally binding document, designed to guarantee the security of the Republic of South Ossetia and the Republic of Abkhazia, as well as Georgia’s non-use of force or threat of force. Such a document would become the basis for maintaining stability, secured by reliable guarantees, and strengthening the existing security structure. The destructive position taken by the representatives of Georgia doesn’t allow progress in solving this key issue, which is becoming very important against the background of Georgia’s ongoing military potential buildup.

It was stated that the polar positions of the parties make it difficult to agree on the parameters of the document on the non-use of force, but the South Ossetian, Abkhaz and Russian participants called for continued efforts on this important area. As an equally important issue for regional security the South Ossetian and the Russian parties consider delimitation with subsequent demarcation of the state border with Georgia, which would minimize the threats of increasing tensions because of illegal crossings.

Discussing the issues of stability and security in the South-Ossetian- Georgian state border area, the participants of the meeting noted the absence of serious incidents recently. At the same time the effectiveness of the IPRM operating under the auspices of the Geneva Discussions in the South-Ossetian-Georgian border area as well as the fail -safe work of the “hot line” was again noted.

The detailed conversation on humanitarian issues was held. The priority attention was paid to the fate of the missing. The South Ossetian participants noted, that the assurances of the current Georgian authorities about the responsible attitude to the search for missing persons do not affect the results of the work. The South Ossetian side called on international intermediaries to encourage Georgia to move from imitation activities to work on the speedy clarification of the fate of the missing and the subjected to enforced disappearance citizens of South Ossetia.

Due to the adoption of the next resolution on the refugee problem initiated by Georgia at the UN General Assembly on June 7, 2023, there wasn’t a discussion on the refugee problem at the completed round. The adoption of this resolution, the draft of which has been submitted by Georgia annually for several years, was regarded by the delegations of the RSO, Abkhazia and Russia as a politicized step that hinders the solution of the difficult humanitarian problem of refugees within the framework of the Geneva discussions. Resumption of discussions on the issue of refugees would become possible when Georgia gives up the attempts of artificial politization of the problem.

In addition, the attention was again strongly drawn to the ongoing violation by Georgia of the rights of the Tyrsygom Ossetians, who due to the position taken by the Georgian authorities in recent years haven’t been able to gain the access to their ancestral villages.

The sides also exchanged views on a number of other humanitarian issues related to education, health care and cultural heritage.

The next round of the discussions will be held in December 2023.

Geneva, 13 July 2023