Eka Tkeshelashvili, Vice Prime Minister of Georgia and State Minister for Reintegration, met with representatives of federal ministries, government agencies and selected think tanks to discuss Georgia’s efforts to reintegrate Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the relations of Georgia with Russia and the EU.
At the start of the discussion the participants pointed out that in the recent past the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia had not figured prominently on the international political agenda. Furthermore, although it was often used in this context, the term “frozen conflict” was actually inappropriate and misleading, since the situation continued to be extremely dangerous.
The conflicts could be resolved only through diplomatic channels. However, since a political solution currently seemed rather unlikely, it would be necessary for the foreseeable future to pursue a strategy of “non-political engagement.” This would have to be based on confidence-building and the expansion of interpersonal contacts in the areas of healthcare, education and economic development.
There was general agreement that a solution without Russia was not feasible, and this was the reason why better relations between Georgia and Russia were desirable. However, on account of the difference in size, Georgia’s room for manoeuvre was deemed to be rather limited. A crucial precondition was Russia’s willingness to recognise its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The political engagement of the EU and the ongoing development of its relations with Georgia were of great importance in this context.
Körber Foundation regularly invites a small circle of high-ranking actors within Berlin’s foreign policy community to its Political Background Discussions. As in the Bergedorf Round Tables, the discussions take place shielded from the public, so as to enable a confidential, frank, and constructive exchange.