The Russian side agreed yesterday to restore the status quo in the Upper Larsi border sector by moving its border post back to the original location. It further agreed with Tbilisi to resume the work of the bilateral commission for border delimitation and demarcation. The Russian post had recently been moved 1,300 meters into the neutral zone that Georgia considers its own, and which forms an object of the negotiations. Upper Larsi is located at one end of the tunnel of the vital Georgia Military Highway. The Russian move had triggered indignant official protests in Tbilisi and public demonstrations at the Russian embassy and outside the border post itself. (See Monitor, December 5, 8)
Yesterday’s agreement was the result of two days of talks held by Russian deputy prime minister Valery Serov in Tbilisi with President Eduard Shevardnadze and other Georgian officials. The border incident pushed economic issues to the back burner in the talks. Energy, financial, and trade issues were discussed but no actual agreements of any significance were reached. (Russian agencies, Iprinda, December 9)
Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan Find Common Ground on Caspian Sea Issues.