Georgian Prime Minister hopes for normalization of relations with Russia
Georgia, Tbilisi, Dec. 18 / Trend N.Kirtskhalia /
A meeting between Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and Russian President Vladimir Putin is not planned in the near future, Bidzina Ivanishvili said at a meeting with foreign journalists on Tuesday.
Ivanishvili expressed hope that "this meeting will take place in the future", and he welcomed the first meeting of representatives of the Georgian Prime Minister and the Russian President in Geneva.
The first meeting of official representatives of Russia and Georgia for the normalization of Russian-Georgian relations was held in Geneva in December. The Special Representative of the Prime Minister for relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze represented the Georgian side, Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin participated in the meeting on behalf of Russia.
"So far, a meeting between Ivanishvili and Putin is not planned. However, the fact that Karasin was representing the Russian president at the Geneva meeting, is encouraging and very interesting," the Prime Minister said.
He stressed that although Karasin and Zurab Abashidze did not agree upon a date for the next meeting, they keep telephone contact, and the meeting will take place in the next two months.
"I hope that relations with Russia will be improved and that Georgia's territorial integrity will be restored when barriers to economic relations and business will be eliminated. Georgian capital must be present in Russia, as well as, Russian capital in Georgia. Of course, I cannot guarantee this, but this will be guaranteed by law, "Ivanishvili said.
Military action was launched in the Georgian region of South Ossetia on Aug.8, 2008. Later, Russian troops occupied the city of Tskhinvali and drove the Georgian military back. Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in late August of that year.