Georgian President offers Moscow ‘direct political talks’
Georgia, Tbilisi, Nov. 23 / Trend N. Kirtskhalia /
Georgia wants to be Russia's partner, but not its enemy, the Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said today in Strasbourg, speaking before the European Parliament.
"We are ready to have partnership relations with Moscow, but are not going to be its vassals," he said.
Saakashvili has offered direct talks to his Russian counterpart, saying that only this way can ensure peace in the region. "I'm ready for such talks, moreover, I don't see any other way to resolve the existing problems in the region," the President said.
He said that dialogue with Moscow must go beyond the Geneva talks and it is necessary to start direct political talks. "This should be a real dialogue, oriented to agreements," he said.
Military actions were launched in the unrecognized republic of South Ossetia in August 2008. Georgian troops entered Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia and later Russian troops occupied the city and drove the Georgian military back to Georgia. Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on Aug. 26 and established diplomatic relations with them on Sept. 9, 2008.