1 Nov 2019 20:29

Karasin to continue dialogue with Abashidze despite transfer to Federation Council - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. Nov 1 (Interfax) - Former Russian deputy foreign minister Grigory Karasin, a member of the Federation Council since September, will continue to represent Russia in its dialogue with Georgia in the Prague format; the next meeting with Zurab Abashidze is slated for November, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said.

"Upon the instruction of the Russian leadership, Mr. Karasin will continue participating in the work of this format. The next Prague meeting, the 23rd in a row, is tentatively scheduled for late November," Zakharova said, answering Interfax's question at a briefing on Friday.

It was reported earlier that Karasin, who represented Russia in the Prague format of the dialogue with Georgia, resigned as state secretary and deputy foreign minister for a seat on the Federation Council. Yevgeny Ivanov succeeded Karasin as state secretary, and Andrei Rudenko was appointed as deputy foreign minister.

The Prague format is the only direct dialogue between Georgian and Russian officials. It mostly addresses trade, economic, and humanitarian affairs. The first meeting of the format took place in a suburb of Geneva in December 2012, and all the other meetings have been held in Prague regularly. The latest meeting was held on June 13, 2019.

Georgian prime ministerial representative for relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze represents Georgia in this dialogue format.