“Georgia’s current leaders have dropped aggressive rhetoric in respect of Russia, which was characteristic of the former authorities,” Margvelashvili said at a meeting of the Georgian parliament late on Friday. “The Georgian government has begun a dialogue with Russia in a new format, in the Abashidze-Karasin format. Meetings held in this format focused on issues of restoring and developing trade-and-economic and humanitarian-and-cultural relations. Obviously, discussion of such issues creates a proper atmosphere to bring down political tension in relations between the two countries and to promote further dialogue.”
The first meeting between Zurab Abashidze, Georgian prime minister’s envoy for relations with Russia, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin was held in December 2012 in a Geneva suburb. Four more such meetings were held in 2013 in Prague. The next meeting in the Abashidze-Karasin format will take place in early March 2014.