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TBILISI, March 21. /TASS/. It is necessary to continue dialogue with Russia as it helps ease tensions in Georgian-Russian relations, Georgian presidential envoy for relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze told reporters on Monday.
"Refusal to continue dialogue with Russia will not solve any problems in the relations between the two countries. On the contrary, the number of such problems and their scale will only grow," Abashidze said.
"Easing tensions in the relations with Russia which has been observed over the last three years, became possible as a result of active efforts of current Georgian leadership" and represents "an important factor of ensuring internal political stability in Georgia, creating conditions for attracting new foreign investment to the country, developing tourism," he added.
Several Georgian politicians have recently called for ending the dialogue between Abashidze and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin. Karasin and Abashidze have held 12 meetings since December 2012, 10 of them took place in Prague. The last meeting between Abashidze and Karasin took place in the Czech capital on March 16.
Relations between the two countries soured when on August 8, 2008, Georgian forces attacked the breakaway region of South Ossetia. Russia sent its forces into the region to protect the citizens of South Ossetia, many of whom held Russian passports, and expelled the Georgian forces. Russia then recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, after which Georgia broke off diplomatic relations with it.