19 May 2018 11:35

Next meeting in Abashidze-Karasin format due in Prague on May 24

TBILISI. May 19 (Interfax) - The next meeting between the Georgian Prime Minister's Special Representative for Relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin will take place on May 24 in furtherance of the bilateral informal dialogue launched in 2012, the Georgian media said.

Abashidze confirmed the meeting on Saturday.

Abashidze and Karasin traditionally meet in Prague to discuss bilateral trade, economic, transport, and humanitarian affairs. The format does not address political issues.

The previous meeting between Abashidze and Karasin took place in Prague on January 31, 2018.

The Georgian parliamentary opposition demanded in March 2018 that the Abashidze-Karasin interaction be suspended. Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze disagreed and said, "the format must be carried on at this stage."

"This is not a closed-door format, and these are not just meetings between Zurab Abashidze and Grigory Karasin. Representatives of other government agencies get involved if necessary; we believe that our country has benefited from this format, at least in the areas of trade, transport, and some other," Janelidze told reporters on March 14.