TBILISI, December 24 (Itar-Tass) — The new Georgian government plans to take up “a constructive and principled stance” in the process of normalizing relations with Russia, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said on Monday.
“The Georgian government will make every effort and will demonstrative a constructive approach in order to normalize relations with the Russian Federation,” the prime minister said, welcoming recent statements of Russian officials about a possibility to restore trade relations with Georgia.
He marked that “those positive moves and statements that have come from Russia of late are commendable”. “It is difficult to forecast and analyze the future of the development of relations between two countries. We will not hurry, and will patiently scritinize those difficult processes, the deadlock that the relations between our two countries have found themselves in,” Ivanishvili stressed. “It was very easy to get into that deadlock, and it will be very difficult to get out of it,” he said.
“Even if the Russian political leadership decides to renounce what it has already stated – I mean the recognition by Russia of the Abkhaz and Tskhinval regions, the process itself will not be an easy one,” he continued. Ivanishvili said he was “optimistic about possibilities to normalize relations with the Russian Federation”.
“But we must not expect that this will happen instantaneously, although nothing can be ruled out,” he added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a news conference on December 20 that Russia could not reverse its decision to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia, but it wanted normalization of relations with Georgia. “President in office Mikhail Saakashvili lead the situation into a deadlock, and I don’t quite understand how we could get out of it,” he said.
Russia cannot change its mind over the recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. While Georgia cannot agree to recognize their independent status, he said.
At the same time, the president noted that Russia saw positive signals from Georgia.
"We really want normalization of relations with Georgia," Putin emphasized, adding that Georgia was interested in it more than Russia. "But here we do not intend to turn up the nose and say that we do not need it. We believe relations between the two very close nations must be normalized. And we must surely seek it," he said.