On August 4, 2023, in an interview with the state news agency – TASS, Denis Gonchar, the Director of the 4th CIS Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, spoke about the occupied regions of Georgia. In the Ministry Gonchar supervises the South Caucasus direction, including the occupied regions. Key points expressed in the interview:
- Based on the results of the July 11-12 round of discussions in Geneva, we can conclude that the ongoing work in the format of the mentioned negotiations is returning to the usual course. The next meeting will be held in December 2023. The main priority for us is to ensure the sustainable security of Abkhazia and “South Ossetia” by signing a legally binding agreement on the non-use of force by Tbilisi.
The problem of transit traffic between Russia and Armenia via Abkhazia, “South Ossetia” and Georgia is periodically discussed with Yerevan. We are sure that the opening of an additional transport corridor would help to increase the transport-logistics and transit potential of the region. We think that the solution of this issue is completely achievable if all interested parties are guided by pragmatic interests and consider the reality in the region.
We are preparing for the 15th anniversary of the recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and “South Ossetia” by Russia (Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and “South Ossetia” after the August 2008 war, on August 26). Russia will take part in planned events at a decent level. High-level Russian delegations will leave for Sokhumi and Tskhinvali.
The sovereignty of Abkhazia and “South Ossetia” is not subject to revision.
Russia's goal is to establish long-term alliance relations with the people of neighboring Abkhazia and “South Ossetia,” with whom we have long historical ties.