Restoration of Georgia-Russian diplomatic relations impossible before de-occupation

Georgia Materials 3 March 2012 14:12 (UTC +04:00)

Georgia, Tbilisi, March 3 / Trend N.Kirtzkhalia /

Georgian experts and politicians do not see any possibility of restoring diplomatic relations with Russia amid the occupation of part of its territory. One of the leaders of the parliamentary majority Nugzar Tsiklauri believes that in circumstances when the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are under the control of Russian troops, there can be no talk of restoring diplomatic relations with Russia.

"Until Russia recognizes occupation and starts the process of de-occupation there cannot be any negotiations," he told Trend.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev gave the Russian Foreign Ministry instruction on the visa regime and restoration of diplomatic relations with Georgia, a senior source in the Kremlin confirmed to RIA Novosti.

He said the decision was taken proceeding form the interests of the peoples of Russia and Georgia, connected with centuries-old ties.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary minority leader Giorgi Targamadze welcomes Russia's intention to abolish the visa regime for Georgian citizens. "This is a civilized and decent response to the decision of the Georgian authorities to abolish the visa regime for Russians, and it contributes to the deepening of friendly relations between the two nations," he said.

At the same time Targamadze also finds it impossible to restore diplomatic relations with Russia until Moscow recognizes the occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

"The establishment of diplomatic relations should be part of the process of Russia's meeting its international commitments to Georgia, but there is no yet progress in this direction," Targamadze told Trend.

One of the leaders of the coalition of billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, former Georgian ambassador to the OSCE Victor Dolidze called issue of restoration of diplomatic relations with Russia under the occupation of Georgia "delicate".

"This is a delicate matter when your territory is occupied," he said, stressing that the absence of diplomatic relations does not prevent the establishment of commercial, cultural and other relations between the two nations.

Georgian experts also stress impossibility to restore diplomatic relations amid occupation.

Mikheil Tavkhelidze believes that Russia had to respond to the initiative of the Georgian president to abolish the visa regime for Russian citizens

Expert Gia Nodia said that the statement of Russia points to the fact that it doesn't refuse to recognize the breakaway regions of Georgia, and in these circumstances, the restoration of diplomatic relations is impossible.

Political scientist Nugzar Chkoidze welcomes the abolition of visa regime with Georgia, but considers that it is a PR statement. "This statement has been made amid the campaign and is a certain trick, so I do not think it will bring results," he said in an interview with Trend, adding is hardly possible to restore diplomatic relations amid the occupation of Georgia

Military actions were launched in the Georgian territory, South Ossetia on Aug.8 in 2008. Later the Russian troops occupied the Tskhinvali city and drove the Georgian military back. Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in late August. In response, Tbilisi broke off diplomatic relations with Moscow and announced two unrecognized republics as the occupied territories.