Georgia and Russia to begin monitoring freight via Abkhazia and South Ossetia
On 6 February, the first meeting of the joint committee for overseeing the implementation of the Russo-Georgian agreement on monitoring of freight passing through Abkhazia and South Ossetia took place.
This was the first time Georgia and Russia have met to discuss the implementation of the project since the agreement was signed in November 2011.
Delegations from the two countries, with Switzerland as intermediary, have already formally begun the implementation of the agreement On the Foundational Principles of the Mechanism for Customs Administration and Monitoring of Trade in Goods.
The Georgian Revenue Service says that at the first meeting, the Swiss company SGS, which will implement the process of freight monitoring, presented the parties its first report on activities carried out under its mandate.
The statement says that the discussion of matters outlined in the agreement will continue within the framework of the group.
Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in turn, announced that in addition to the SGS report, other matters connected with the implementation of the agreement were also discussed.
The question of the agreement’s implementation led to a dispute after a number of Russian media outlets published confirmation that Georgia had agreed to establish customs borders on the borders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
In Tbilisi, these assertions have been refuted – Georgia says this is simply a matter of freight being monitored by a neutral observer.