PM: Russia must understand Georgia’s European integration is not threat

Photo: PM: Russia must understand Georgia’s European integration is not threat  / Georgia

Tbilisi, Georgia, Feb. 5
By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:

Georgia must convince Russia that the country's Euro-Atlantic integration is not a threat, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said in an interview with BBC Television today.

"Russia must be interested in a strong, reliable and democratic neighbour," he said.

Georgia's participation in the Sochi Olympics was one of the main themes of the interview.

"Not to boycott the Sochi Olympics was a difficult decision," he said. "But if there are any surprises, we will respond adequately."

"The issue of conflicts remains a big problem," Garibashvili said.

He also commented on Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's statement that Georgia does not want to accept reality. The Sochi Olympic Games will open on February 7.

The Georgian delegation will go to the Sochi Olympics in two groups, the Georgian Olympic Committee told Trend earlier. The athletes and the main part of the delegation will leave for Sochi on Feb.6.

In total, four Georgian sports athletes will participate at the Olympic Games in Sochi. They are mountain skiers Nino Tsiklauri, Jason Abramishvili, Alexi Benianidze and figure skater Elena Gedevanishvili, who will arrive in Sochi on February 14 from Canada. Nino Tsiklauri will carry the flag at the opening ceremony.

Large scale military action was launched in South Ossetia on August 8, 2008. Later, Russian troops occupied Tskhinvali and expelled the Georgian military.

Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in late August. In response, Tbilisi ended diplomatic relations with Moscow and has called the two unrecognised republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia occupied territories.

Translated by NH
Edited by SM

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