Russian Diplomat Comments on Russo-Georgian Framework Agreement

Comprehensive framework agreement between Russia and Georgia can be signed only after relations between the two countries are improved, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said in the interview with news agency RIA Novosti on January 3.

He said that officials in Tbilisi continue ?anti-Russian campaign.?

?This does not promote any progress in working over the agreement on friendship. Naturally, until we start discussing the terms of signing this document, it is necessary to normalize the atmosphere in bilateral relations,? the Russian diplomat said.
The talks over the new comprehensive framework agreement between Russia and Georgia were launched in 2001.
The main source of dispute over this agreement is related with the Russia?s demand to include in the document Georgia?s binding commitment that it will never deploy foreign military bases on its soil. Although Tbilisi vows that there will be no foreign military base on its territory, the Georgian side refuses to include this provision in the agreement. Tbilisi also opposes demand of the Russian side to include the word ?strategic? in the title of the agreement.
Grigory Karasin also said that the framework agreement is not linked with the agreement between Tbilisi and Moscow over withdrawal of Russian bases from Georgia in the course of 2008.   
He said, that the sides have already agreed on the text of the agreement regarding the rules and terms of functioning of Russian bases in Georgia.
?The Georgian side has notified us that it has completed the internal procedures and is ready for signing the mentioned agreement, while this document is still under elaboration in Russia,? Karasin added.

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