Russia and Georgia agreed this past week to improve communications between the two nations, as well as with separatists and international monitors, in an effort to prevent future conflicts from escalating. The United States hailed it as a success but nonetheless cited the need for continued progress in other areas of the negotiations, especially humanitarian matters.
The contested territory between the two nations, still a flashpoint in the aftermath of the August 2008 conflict, has been the subject of ongoing negotiations hosted by the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the United Nations. During the negotiations, the parties agreed to weekly meetings between regional stakeholders, wider access for international monitors, and an emergency hotline for direct, rapid communications.
The United States commended the agreement and reiterated its commitment to constant, vigilant monitoring of the situation on the border between Russia and Georgia. Also, despite condemning Russian intent to remain in the contested regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the United States nevertheless pledged to continue working to further U.S.-Russian relations in other areas.
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