Tbilisi says Russia promises not to hinder Georgia-EU Association Agreement

Georgia did not coordinate with Moscow its association agreement with the European Union, Special Envoy of the Georgian Prime Minister for Relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze has said.

Georgia did not coordinate with Moscow its association agreement with the European Union, Special Envoy of the Georgian Prime Minister for Relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze has said.

"What is more, representatives of the Russian administration said they would not hinder Georgia's signing of that document," he told the Georgian newspaper Kviris Palitra in an interview on Sept.14.

In the opinion of Abashidze, Georgia "would have hardly been able to achieve that success and to sign the association agreement" in the period of office of former President Mikheil Saakashvili.

As to whether Russia softened its position on the Georgia-EU Association Agreement because of the Georgian promise to resolve the problems of Abkhazia and South Ossetia shortly, Abashidze said no such promises were given. "Just the opposite, we said those problems would not be resolved rapidly," the Georgian prime minister's envoy said.

He said that the negotiations he had been conducting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin in Prague did not touch upon political matters but were limited to economic and humanitarian issues.

New Georgian Foreign Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili told Georgia's Channel One that the Abashidze-Karasin negotiating format needed to be preserved, but that there were no plans to include political subjects in it.

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