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TBILISI, July 07. /ITAR-TASS/. Georgia’s top diplomat has expressed hope that the Russia-Georgia meeting in Prague will be constructive.
Russian and Georgian experts have met to discuss ways to develop trade and economic cooperation after Georgia signed the Association Agreement with the European Union, Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said on Monday.
“The purpose of the meeting in Prague is to avoid any difficulties in trade and economic partnership between the two countries,” she said.
“Russia’s delegation is led by Alexander Tsybulsky, head of the Economic Development Ministry’s CIS Cooperation Department,” the ministry said.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Russia’s Deputy Foreign Ministry Grigory Karasin would continue a substantial dialogue with Georgian special envoy Zurab Abashidze in Prague on July 9. The meeting will focus on key issues of Russian-Georgian relations.
Abashidze and Karasin were initially scheduled to meet on March 4 but agreed to postpone the consultations until March 14 and then put them off “until a later date”. Last week, Georgian and Russian officials said that the meeting would be held in Prague on April 16. Abashidze has repeatedly said lately that “during telephone conversations with Grigory Karasin, both sides called for continuing the dialogue in this format”.
Their first meeting took place on December 14, 2012 in Geneva’s suburb and the following four in Prague in March, June, September and November 2013. They represented the first direct dialogue between government officials of the two countries since 2008.
In March 2014, Abashidze noted that the forthcoming meeting in Prague would “traditionally cover such topics as the development of cooperation between the two countries in the areas of trade, transport and economy”. It was announced in late February that the diplomats might also discuss “the possibility of organizing and holding a meeting between the Georgian and Russian top officials”, but neither side has mentioned this again in recent weeks.