27 Feb 2019 18:09

Date of start of cargo monitoring on Georgian-Russian border not known yet - Abashidze

TBILISI. Feb 27 (Interfax) - The Georgian prime minister's special representative on relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze said he expects to receive information on when the 2011 Georgian-Russian agreement on customs monitoring of cargo transportation on the Georgian-Russian border will begin to be implemented in his meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin in Prague on February 27.

"We will talk about it and we will receive additional information on the timeframe of implementation of this agreement," Abashidze said before visiting Prague.

The three-month preparatory period allowed for that expires on March 1, but the implementation of the agreement will clearly not have started by that time, he said.

He said representatives of the neutral Swiss company SGS, which will monitor cargo on the border, will come to Georgia, but he does not know when that will happen.

"Because March 1 is already close, some more time will be needed," Abashidze said. The 2011 agreement between Georgia and Russia is "very non-standard, original," he said

"There is no such experience anywhere, and a lot of questions arise, including technical issues. So we will have to wait some more time," Abashidze said.

The main thing is that the process has begun, he said. "The preparatory stage was difficult and everything had to be done such a way as to be in line with the principles of the agreement and, naturally, the interests of our country," he said.

According to earlier reports, the first meeting of the joint Georgian-Russian-Swiss committee created to supervise the implementation of the 2011 agreement on customs monitoring of cargo on the Georgian-Russian border took place in Geneva on February 6.

The bilateral agreement On the Main Principles of the Mechanism of Customs Administration and Trade Monitoring between the governments of Georgia and Russia was signed in Geneva on November 9, 2011. The Swiss company SGS was later selected to monitor cargo transportation under the agreement.