Georgian, Russian relations will only be restored only after Russia closes illegal embassies
Georgia, Tbilisi, Jan. 26 / Trend N. Kirtzkhalia /
Georgian-Russian bilateral relations will be restored only after Russia closes the embassies it illegally opened in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, a spokesperson for the Georgian President Manana Manjgaladze said at a press briefing on Thursday.
She was commenting on the statement of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that Moscow is ready to restore relations with Georgia, but unfortunately is hampered by President Saakashvili. He will not shake his hand.
"It is not clear which Georgia the Russian president spoke about, as Georgia is recognised in its international borders, which Russia in turn does not recognise," Ms Manjgaladze said.
She said that Russia occupied 20 per cent of Georgian territory having carried out previous aggression and now illegally controls two regions of Georgia - Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
"There is a problem with Russia's illegal actions, rather than individuals and President Saakashvili," she said. "These actions led to the fact that several hundred thousand Georgian citizens are forced to live in exile."
Military actions were launched in the Georgian territory of South Ossetia on Aug.8 in 2008.
Later Russian troops occupied the city of Tskhinvali and drove the Georgian military back.
Russia then recognised the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in late August.
In response, Tbilisi broke off diplomatic relations with Moscow and announced the two unrecognised republics as occupied territories.