Tbilisi, Georgia, Nov.7
By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend: Georgia will not give a new reason to anyone for the escalation of conflicts. However, Georgia is ready to defend itself, Georgian Defence Minister Irakli Alasania said in his interview to the French, France 24 TV service.
Alasania also stressed it is not easy to change Russia's position on the issue of Georgia's territorial integrity. At this stage the issue is to establish cultural and trade relations and to decrease tension between the two countries, the Georgian Defence Ministry said on Nov.7.
According to the minister, Georgia's new government has decided to establish programme relations with Russia that will allow it to have contact with the breakaway regions in the Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region.
The Defence Minister said that Georgia will try to convince the Abkhazians and Ossetians that they have more standpoints with European Georgia.
According to Alasania, Georgia no longer intends to create grounds heating up the situation. Meanwhile the minister stressed that Georgia's defensive capability is not being put under question.
Large scale military action was launched in South Ossetia on August 8, 2008. Later, Russian troops occupied Tskhinvali and expelled the Georgian military.
Russia recognised 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.