Usupashvili Expresses Caution on Abashidze-Karasin Format During NATO Visit

NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow welcomed David Usupashvili, Chairman of the Georgian Parliament, to NATO headquarters on Wednesday July 22, for talks on the importance of the relationship between the Alliance and Georgia.

Given recent developments on the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) of the South Ossetia region of Georgia, Alexander Vershbow underlined that NATO fully supports Georgia’s territorial integrity within its internationally-recognized borders.

Chairman Usupashvili also participated in the NATO-Georgia Commission meeting. Alliance ambassadors welcomed the progress being made on the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, which aims to help Georgia strengthen and develop its forces and defense ministry.

The representatives of the alliance member states thanked Tbilisi for its contributions to NATO missions and operations, which have further developed Georgia’s ability to work alongside allied forces. Today, Georgia is the second largest contributor to the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan.

Talking to the Public Broadcaster, assessing the meetings held in Brussels, Usupashvili said one of the main questions asked during his visit was whether the government of Georgia is going to drop the Abashidze-Karasin format. He warned that if this happens, and if the government abolishes “this very small, not very effective, but essential line in relations with Russia”, then things will get more difficult in terms of acquiring a Membership Action Plan (MAP). 

The Abashidze-Karasin bilateral talks were initiated by then Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili in 2012, in a bid to improve relations with Russia. As opposed to the Geneva format, the Abashidze-Karasin talks do not focus on political issues.

Nino Japarashvili

23 July 2015 16:23