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TBILISI, December 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia and Georgia may enter into discussions of trade and business development issues next year, the Georgian prime minister’s envoy for Russia Zurab Abashidze believes.
“These may be investment projects, purely commercial ones,” he told Itar-Tass. “We’ll start discussions of ideas and suggestions, and then commercial companies, if interested, will continue our work.” Abashidze believes the two countries may implement joint projects in infrastructure, transport communication, energy. Both Georgian and Russian companies are keen to cooperate, he added.
Abashidze said progress in bilateral relations will proceed “in baby steps”.
“The newly elected Georgian president has already said we are ready to seek ways to improve relations with Russia. Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has also confirmed his firm position on this issue. Our athletes will go to the Sochi Olympics as a sign of our good will.”
Abashidze put a special emphasis on the fact that Georgia’s signing of the EU association agreement would not harm relations with Russia saying the claims to the contrary were groundless.
“We want to have trade relations with our European partners, as well as neighboring countries, including Russia. With any other country,” the envoy said.
He said the Georgian military road was now actively used in bilateral trade and often, especially in winter, worked with interruptions adding “the turnover is increasing literally every month.” According to Abashidze, Georgia pondered upon the problem, one of suggestions being a tunnel about ten kilometers long. It would be a purely commercial project that could involve Russia, Turkey and other countries.