Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 113

Russian-mediated talksin Moscow between Georgian and Abkhaz representatives broke up yesterdayafter eleven days of nonstop negotiations. Visits to Moscow by GeorgianForeign Minister Irakly Menagarishvili on June 7 and June 10 for talks withhis counterpart Yevgeny Primakov failed to produce a moderating Russianinfluence on the Abkhaz side. A meeting between Georgian President EduardShevardnadze and Abkhaz leader Vladislav Ardzinba has now moved out of reach.

The stalemate is hardly surprising, considering the Abkhaz demands to revokeearlier CIS resolutions and to attach conditions to the implementation ofthe May 25, 1998 ceasefire agreement. (For a comparison of Georgian andAbkhaz negotiating positions see the Monitor, June 9). Moreover, Abkhazenvoy Anri Jergenia yesterday unveiled a further set of demands presentedduring the talks. These demands include: signing a Georgian-Abkhaz “peaceagreement” of a political nature (evidently interpretable as Georgianrecognition of Abkhazia as a subject of international law); barring”hostile” refugees from repatriation to Abkhazia; extending to one year theterm for the repatriation of eligible refugees; disbanding the parliament ofAbkhazia exiled in Tbilisi (made up of the ethnic Georgian members of thepre-war legislature of Abkhazia); dissolving Georgian armed groups in Galidistrict (which is under Russian and Abkhaz control). Meanwhile the Abkhazauthorities in Sukhumi offer to accept the return of those Georgian refugeeswho would accept “Abkhazian citizenship”. (Prime-News, Russian agencies,RTR, June 10 and 11)

Some of these demands predate the recent fighting. They were, however,apparently revived to prevent resolution of the new problems created by thatfighting. Apart from incompatibility with international law, the full set ofdemands cannot be, from the standpoint of Georgian internal politics,fulfilled. The demands appeared calculated to preserve the status quoachieved militarily in 1994 and consolidated last month.