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Georgia hints at mending ties with Russia

August 10, 2016, 13:50 UTC+3 TBILISI

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said that "at one point Georgia and Russia will come to launching a rational dialogue for solving the most pressing problems"

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Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili

Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili

© AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov

TBILISI, August 10. /TASS/. Apparently,Tbilisi has made some overtures to Moscow recently to restore ties, following the rift that had resulted from the 2008 conflict. Georgia has called on Russia to begin talks on solving differences in bilateral relations instead of going ahead with confrontation, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said in an interview with the Maestro TV channel on Wednesday.

"Georgia offers Russia not confrontation, but a rational and well-argued discussion on ways of solving the most dire and pressing problems in relations between the two countries," the president stressed.

"If Russia shows political will to discuss and solve them, then we will be ready to arrange a meeting for top officials from both countries," Margvelashvili said.

Margvelashvili hoped that "at one point Georgia and Russia will come to launching a rational dialogue for solving the most pressing problems." However, he stressed that thorough preparations were needed for these talks.

High-level meetings would make sense "if Russia understood that Georgia is not Russia’s enemy but is set to have friendly relations between the two countries, provided that Georgia’s territorial integrity in the framework of the internationally recognized borders of this country is honored," he said.

Relations between the two countries soured when Georgian forces attacked the breakaway region of South Ossetia on August 8, 2008. Russia had to intervene by conducting an operation to coerce Georgia into settling for peace. Moscow then recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, after which Georgia broke off diplomatic relations with Russia.

Late last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the initiative to restore diplomatic relations between Russia and Georgia should come from Tbilisi, as Moscow was not the one who severed ties.

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