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Georgian and Russian representatives to meet in Prague in March

January 31, 2014, 20:41 UTC+3 TBILISI
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TBILISI, January 31. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin and Zurab Abashidze, the Georgian prime minister’s special envoy for relations with Russia, will hold their sixth meeting in Prague in the first days of March, presumably on March 4-5, Abashidze told Itar-Tass on Friday.

The agenda for the forthcoming meeting had not yet been clarified. “It will be agreed together with Karasin a bit later. As usual, the meeting in Prague will dwell on further development of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries and contacts in cultural and humanitarian spheres,” Abashidze stressed.

In December 2013, Georgian President Georgy Margvelashvili said that a direct Georgian-Russian dialogue conducted as part of the Abashidze-Karasin meetings had not exhausted its potential and would continue. The president also said that the direct dialogue had helped restoring trade, economic and cultural ties between the two countries and creating a high level of trust between Russia and Georgia. Abashidze’s first meeting with Karasin took place in a Geneva outskirt on December 14, 2012. The next four meetings were held in Prague last year - in March, June, September and November.

Abashidze’s talks with Karasin were the first direct contact between Georgian and Russian officials since 2008.

Russia’s relations with Georgia, including a possibility to restore diplomatic ties, were among the subjects which Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov raised at a news conference devoted to the results of 2013. According to Lavrov, the two sides’ inability to change the realities that took shape under the former Georgian president, Mikhail Saakashvili, was the fundamental problem of Russian-Georgian relations.

“Any attempts to make Russia withdraw its recognition of these new realities as a precondition for promoting political contacts are useless, counter-productive and have no chance of success,” Lavrov said.

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