MOSCOW, September 30. /TASS/. Russian and Georgian foreign ministers, Sergey Lavrov and David Zalkaliani, met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City to try to find a way out of the current impasse in bilateral relations, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
"We took note of the ongoing hype in Tbilisi following Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s meeting with his Georgian counterpart Zalkaliani in New York City," the ministry noted. "Regrettably, what we hear again are cliched words about ‘occupation.’ It looks like our Georgian colleagues are more focused on matters of protocol and format rather than on what these talks were about."
"On our part, we are convinced that the interests of the peoples of Russia and Georgia require a direct and honest conversation," the ministry noted. "The New York meeting between the two countries foreign ministers, the first one in the past 12 years, was geared to find ways out of the difficult situation the Russian-Georgian relations are in, including as a result of the June-July developments."
The ministry expressed gratitude to Switzerland, which represents Russia’s interests in Georgia and Georgia’s interests in Russia, for helping organize the meeting between the two top diplomats.
The Georgian and Russian foreign ministers had a meeting on September 26 on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. It was the first direct meeting between the two countries top diplomats since 2008 when Tbilisi severed diplomatic relations with Moscow after it had recognized South Ossetia’s and Abkhazia’s independence. The only channel for direct official contacts between the two nations has been a format of regular meetings of the Georgian prime minister’s special envoy for relations with Russia and Russia's deputy foreign minister.
After the meeting with Lavrov, Zalkaliani was summoned to Georgia’s parliament by the opposition's United National Movement faction to provide explanations.