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Russia-Georgia ties going out of "deep freeze stage" — Lavrov

January 26, 2016, 13:09 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The foreign minister again stressed Moscow is ready to lift visa requirements for Georgians adding that the two countries still have no diplomatic relations

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© Zurab Dzhavakhadze/TASS

MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. Russia’s relations with Georgia are going out of the deep freeze stage and Moscow is ready to lift visa requirements for Georgians, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the annual press conference on Tuesday.

The people of Georgia should not pay for the split of ties due to "the criminal mistakes" of former President Mikheil Saakashvili. "This is unfair, we did not sever diplomatic relations," Lavrov stressed.

"The bilateral relations are going out of the deep freeze stage," he said. "We trade with Georgia in foods and beverages, to our mutual satisfaction."

"We are ready for the visa-free regime in prospect, but this will be strange when we have no diplomatic relations that we did not cut off," Russia’s top diplomat said.

Lavrov open to contacts with Georgia’s top diplomat

Sergey Lavrov has said he is open to contacts with the Georgian foreign minister.

"I am open to contacts with my Georgian counterpart," Lavrov told the news conference. "I am sure that other contacts are possible too. Russian President Vladimir Putin, when asked about this, did not rule out this opportunity, if an occasion occurred."

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