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TBILISI, July 16. /TASS/. Georgia will continue its constructive and balanced policy of normalization of relations with Russia, Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili said on Thursday.
"I call upon all politicians in Georgia to be more responsible in assessing some events and processes that concern relations with Russia," Garibashvili told the government session. "Over the last two-and-a-half years, Georgian government has been following a constructive and pragmatic policy on settling the relations with Russia, and it is doing everything for de-escalation in bilateral relations which contributes to security in the country and in the whole region," the prime minister noted.
"Georgia will do everything to normalize relations with Russia by following a constructive and balanced policy," he stressed. "At the same time, I want to assure the public that our government will never agree on compromises that harm our country’s national interests and Georgia’s territorial integrity in the framework of internationally recognized borders of the country," Garibashvili said.
Earlier this week, the prime minister said that Georgia has no plans to revise or expand the format of its dialogue with Russia. "The current dialogue format, Abashidze-Karasin, will stay in place, as will another format — the Geneva consultations," he told journalists. "At the current stage, we have no plans to revise or expand the dialogue format with Russia."
Garibashvili’s statement came amidst disagreement between local politicians over further dialogue between the two countries. Some call to stop further Abashidze-Karasin contacts, while others call for extended dialogue ultimately involving the two countries’ top officials.
Meanwhile, Nino Burdzhanadze, a former speaker of the Georgian parliament and the leader of the political party Democratic Movement United Georgia, said she had been given to understand during her meetings in Moscow on July 9-11 that "Russia is ready for direct dialogue and talks with Georgia to find ways of settling relations between the two countries, and now it’s for Georgia to speak up."
Over the past moths, Garibashvili was reported to say he was ready to meet with the Russian president, but this meeting should be carefully planned and prepared so that it could yield results. "So far, I think it is too early to say about when such a meeting could be held or in which format," he said.
Under the new edition of the Georgian constitution that came into force in November 2013, the prime minister is the head of the country’s executive branch and has all the administrative levers.