Russian-Georgian Consultations Held on Theme of the CIS Peacekeeping Forces

The question of the further presence of the collective peacekeeping forces of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in the zone of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict was discussed at the Russian-Georgian consultations which were held in Moscow.

As was reported by the information and press department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Russian side at the consultations was represented by Valery Loshchinin, special representative of the Russian President for a Georgian-Abkhazian settlement, State Secretary - First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Georgian side - by Malkhaz Kakabadze, minister at large, and by Merab Antadze, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The participants in the consultations expressed a common interest in the continuation of the process of peacefully settling the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict, including the CIA peacekeeping operation, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported.

As was pointed out at these consultations, the question of prolonging the mandate of the CIS peacekeeping forces must be decided urgently - not later than February 15, as the CIS heads of state agreed upon at their meeting in Kiev.

At these consultations, discussions also took place with regard to the concern of the Georgian side about the opening of the railway communication between Sochi and Sukhumi and the granting of Russian citizenship to the inhabitants of Abkhazia. As was reported by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Russian side gave appropriate explanations. It has also confirmed that the resumption of the railway communication is a purely commercial project which in the first place pursues humanitarian aims. As to citizenship, these questions are considered in strict accordance with the Russian legislation, pointed out the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At the end of the consultations, the theme of the continuation of the negotiations on military issues was raised.

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