Georgian PM’s Special Representative in Relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, has confirmed a phone conversation with Russian official Grigory Karasin over the plans of Georgia’s de facto Tskhinvali region to join Russia.
"Yesterday a brief telephone conversation took place with Grigory Karasin. Mr. Karasin made a brief comment on the so-called referendum planned in the Tskhinvali region and noted that Moscow is aware of our negative attitude. He also said that Moscow is not involved in any activities related to the referendum,” Abashidze said on Thursday.
He also stated that his meeting with Karasin in Prague, a format which was launched back in 2013 focused only on trade and economic issues when Karasin served as deputy FM, has been postponed due to Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine.
The meeting was scheduled in the summer of this year.
Karasin has told Tass that he had “briefly discussed” with his “Georgian counterparts” the issue of the “referendum on the unification of South Ossetia with Russia.”
"This is one of the topics of concern to our Georgian partners. We are closely watching this issue," he added.
Tskhinvali has plans to hold the referendum on July 17.
Russia and Georgia suspended diplomatic relations after the Russia-Georgia 2008 war.
Following the war Russia recognized two Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali as independent states.
Georgia and Russia restored only trade and economic relations only back in 2013, under the Georgian Dream authorities.