PRAGUE, March 2 (Itar-Tass) – Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said on Friday that Russia could not establish a visa-free regime with Georgia because the two countries didn’t have diplomatic relations. However, he added that Russia could try to soften visa regulations for some categories of Georgian citizens.
"In the past month, we have managed to consider problems that exist in our relations and discuss how to solve them,” Karasin told Itar-Tass after holding an informal meeting with Zurab Abashidze, the Georgian prime minister’s special envoy for settling relations with Russia, in Prague.
“The meeting in (Prague) showed that both sides were interested in contacts,” Karasin emphasized. He said that provocative and unpredictable remarks of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili were unlikely to hinder the movement towards normalization of relations between Russia and Georgia in the interests of the people of the two countries.
Karasin noted that experts of the Russian Federal Service for Control in the Sphere of Protection of Consumers' Rights and Well-Being of Humans or Rospotrebnadzor had inspected dozens of Georgian wine-making plants from February 21 to March 1 despite Mr. Saakashvili’s bouts of rage.
“So, we have grounds for optimism,” Grigory Karasin said.