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  Thursday, September 19, 2019
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The Swiss Embassy in Tbilisi is ready to represent Russia's interests
The Swiss Embassy in Tbilisi is ready to represent Russia's interests in Georgia, which broke off diplomatic relations with Moscow at the end of August, Switzerland's mission said Monday.

"On October 3, 2008, the Federal Council of Switzerland responded in the affirmative to Russia's request [to represent its interests in Georgia] provided Georgia has no objections," the embassy said in a press release.

It went on to say that Switzerland has relevant experience in the field, currently representing Cuba's and Iran's interests in the United States, and U.S. interests in Cuba.

The embassy noted, however, that it is not authorized to issue Russian entry visas to Georgian nationals.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday that "the Swiss side has expressed readiness to provide 'good offices' in representing Russia's interests in Georgia" and that a Russian interest section would be set up at the Swiss Embassy in Tbilisi.

A Swedish newspaper quoted the Georgian ambassador to the Scandinavian country as saying Thursday that Georgia has asked Sweden to represent its interests in Russia.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry has neither confirmed nor denied the reports published in Svenska Dagbladet.

Amiran Kavadze told the newspaper that the request was understandable given that diplomatic relations between Georgia and Russia had been severed. He added that several countries had already offered to represent Georgia's interests in Russia.

Georgia severed diplomatic relations with Russia after the five-day war over South Ossetia in August that subsequently saw Russia recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another breakaway Georgian republic, as independent states. The conflict began when Georgian forces attacked South Ossetia in a bid to regain control over the republic.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia broke away from Georgia following the collapse of the Soviet Union amid armed conflicts that claimed thousands of lives.


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