9 Oct 2019 21:33

Russian diplomat denies conflict with Georgia, occupation

TBILISI. Oct 9 (Interfax) - For Russia, the conflict with Georgia no longer exists, it was over with the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko told Georgian journalists after the latest round of Geneva talks on South Caucasus security on Wednesday.

"Russia does not owe anything to anyone. The position of the Russian Federation is this: the conflict does not exist; it was over after we recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. And now we are discussing regional security to prevent a repeat of such conflicts. I repeat, once again: as far as we concerned, there is no conflict and no occupation," Rudenko said.

The latest round yielded nothing "special, no revolutionary breakthrough," he said.

"The main topic today was the border area between Georgia and South Ossetia. The sides stressed the need for de-escalation at that site. No one is keen on creating further tensions, but the situation there is still complicated because the border posts installed there by the Georgians and South Ossetians remain in place," Rudenko said.

Despite the absence of any "surprises" during the talks, "certain dynamic was still palpable," he said.

"Let's hope for the better," Rudenko said.