Georgian Envoy: Cargo Monitoring Agreement with Russia Is 'Extraordinary'

Georgian Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, stated that representatives of Georgia, Russia and Switzerland will meet in two weeks to discuss the mutual Cargo Monitoring Agreement, adding the project has no analogue and is quite extraordinary.

Abashidze explains that preparation of the contract took a lot of time, especially from the Russian side.

“Work on the contract concluded a year and a half a year ago, and we subsequently informed the Russian and Swiss partners that we were ready to sign the contract. However, the Russian side accused us of not being ready for negotiations,” he said.

The Georgian envoy added that at the recent meeting with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, Grigory Karasin in Prague, the sides decided to meet regarding the agreement in two weeks.

“All sides will meet in Switzerland within two weeks, go through all the agreement in details and afterwards the next step will be the signing of the contract. If we sign the contract, we will switch to its implementation process,” said Abashidze.

Georgia and Russia signed the agreement on the Cargo Monitoring Movement on November 9, 2011, in Geneva, with the participation of Switzerland.

The two countries agreed to involve a neutral company to monitor the movement of goods. The Swiss Confederation was tasked with selecting a neutral private company in consultation with Georgia and the Russian Federation.

The agreement envisages the carrying out of monitoring of cargo movement through three “trade corridors”, two of which run through the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and the third one on the Zemo Larsi-Kazbegi border crossing point on the undisputed section of the Georgia-Russia border.

The mechanism’s functions include the gathering and sharing of information, ensuring transparency, data transfer, crime and smuggling prevention, and examining suspicious cargo.

Georgia and Russia decided that the mechanism would entail both an Electronic Data Exchange System (EDES) and International Monitoring System (IMS).

Thea Morrison

Related story: Russia’s Karasin Calls on Georgia to Fulfill Terms of Cargo Monitoring Agreement


21 November 2017 10:51