Grigory Karasin, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia. Screenshot from video broadcasted by the "Echo of the Caucasus", https://www.ekhokavkaza.com/a/29249101.html

02 March 2019, 18:42

Karasin's statements on Georgia-NATO relations trigger Tbilisi's reaction

Grigory Karasin, a Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, has warned the Georgian authorities about the "unpleasant surprises" that could be caused by Georgia-NATO cooperation. Georgian politicians have treated this statement as a hidden threat. However, the official Tbilisi abandoned any harsh retaliatory rhetoric.

On February 28 in Prague, the above Grigory Karasin had a meeting with Zurab Abashidze, the Special Representative of the Georgian Premier at negotiations with Russia.

"Despite the accumulated positive, the Georgia's military cooperation with the NATO remains a major irritant in bilateral relations," the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has stated following the Karasin's meeting with Abashidze.

On the eve of the meeting, Mr Karasin, speaking on air of the "Echo of the Caucasus", warned Tbilisi against "unpleasant surprises." "We should strive to develop relations in all spheres and warn our Georgian partners against unpleasant surprises, because these surprises will be unpleasant for both of us," said the diplomat.

It is about the Georgia's relations with the NATO, the "Kommersant" explains Mr Karasin's words.

Mr Abashidze has noted, in his comments to Karasin's statement, that at the meeting Karasin did not voice out the warning "in this form."

In their comments on the Karasin's statement, Georgian politicians have noticed that Russia fails to amend its policy and continues threatening Georgia.

"Unfortunately, we have no mechanisms to respond to these threats," said Sergi Kapanadze, the Vice-Speaker of the Georgian Parliament from the oppositional "European Georgia" Party, stated to the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

He has criticized Abashidze's response to Karasin's words. Mr Kapanadze considers the wrong position of Abashidze's not paying attention to public statements of the Russian diplomat containing threats, while focusing only on the fact that Karasin did not express such threats during the negotiations.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 2, 2019 at 08:28 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Inna Kukudzhanova; Source: CK correspondent

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