RUSSIA, GEORGIA SOLVE THEIR CONTROVERSIES THROUGH MEANINGFUL DIALOGUE-LAVROV

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SOFIA, December 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and Georgia try to solve their controversies through meaningful dialogue rather than acrimonious wrangling, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov told a press conference after a meeting with his Georgian counterpart, Salome Zourabichvili, in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.

According to Mr Lavrov, the Russian side complies with the Istanbul Agreements, concluded between Russia and Georgia and between Russia and Moldova.

"We discussed steps we need to take. As for arrangements with Moldova, for us to be able to take out the remaining munitions, a Transdniester settlement will have to be reached first [Transdniestria is a breakaway Moldovan republic]," the Russian minister said. According to him, the settlement process has been disrupted "through no fault of ours." "The package we prepared, known as the Kozak Memorandum [so named after Kremlin envoy Dmitri Kozak], was initialed both by the President of Moldova and the head of the Transdniester region. But the signing was frustrated owing to outside interference just a day after the initialing," he explained.

"Russia is implementing the Istanbul accords, not the legally binding obligations," Mr Lavrov said. "We have already fulfilled all of the 1999 Istanbul Treaty's legal obligations, including the ratification of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty."

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