U.S. ambassador: Georgia’s participation at Sochi Olympics important for region’s security

Georgia Materials 12 November 2013 14:20 (UTC +04:00)

Tbilisi, Georgia, Nov.12

By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend: Georgia seeks to take constructive steps in its relations with Russia, the U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland told journalists on Nov.12.

"I believe that Margvelashvili declared the positions of the Georgian nation in his interview on Russia's First Channel. Despite of the fact that Russia has occupied 20 per cent of Georgia's territory, this country seeks to take constructive steps in its relations with Russia and I think that this is very important for the region's security," the ambassador said.

According to the ambassador, the issue of Georgia's participation at the Sochi games will be resolved later.

"When coming to the issue of Georgia's participation at the Sochi Olympics, the decision about this will be made later, nearer to holding the games. Georgia's feelings are clear. However, in terms of regional security interests, the country seeks to take constructive steps," Norland said.

Answering the question from a First Channel journalist as to whether the Georgian authorities are preparing to attend the opening and closing ceremonies, as is accepted in international practice, the newly elected Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said:" We are considering this issue by our team."

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.