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Tbilisi is in favor of preserving Abashidze-Karasin dialogue

The Georgian diplomat mentioned the abolition of visas for Georgians as the key issue on the bilateral agenda

TBILISI, July 30. /TASS/. The Georgian-Russian dialogue between Georgian Prime Minister's Special Representative for Relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin must be preserved as it benefits both countries, Abashidze told Georgia’s Imedi television on Tuesday.

"The communication channel must be preserved. We have no diplomatic, inter-state relations with Russia. There are international Geneva negotiations [on Security and Stability in the South Caucasus — TASS], which are very important. There is also bilateral dialogue, the so-called Prague consultations, at which specific issues, such as trade and business, are discussed. We have tangible results within that framework. Products worth $1.6 bln have been exported to Russia since 2012," Abashidze said.

Abashidze and Karasin last met in Prague on June 13. The date of the next meeting is unknown yet. Restoration of diplomatic relations and abolition of visas for Georgians, which were introduced in 2000, are top-priority issues. The Abashidze-Karasin dialogue was established in 2012 after regime change in Georgia and the advent of the coalition led by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.