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Georgian PM calls for restoration of diplomatic ties with Russia

Giorgi Kvirikashvili reaffirmed his country's "interest in reaching tangible progress in the Geneva International Discussions"
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili AP Photo/Dan Balilty
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili
© AP Photo/Dan Balilty

TBILISI, March 9. /TASS/. Moscow and Tbilisi should take joint steps to break the deadlock in relations between the two countries, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said in a statement addressed to Russian authorities.

"I urge the leadership of the Russian Federation to take joint steps and resolve this complicated situation, while fully embracing our responsibility to the present and future generations," PM said in a statement released by the government’s press service on Friday.

According to Kvirikashvili, the Georgian side has stated before, and reiterates its "interest in reaching tangible progress in the Geneva International Discussions." "I have reaffirmed my commitment to personal involvement to this end," he added.

"Unfortunately, we are facing a difficult reality today. Although we have restored bilateral trade and economic relations, a chain of tragic events continues. This undermines the prospects of regulating Georgia-Russia relations," Prime Minister noted.

On September 2, 2008, Tbilisi announced the severance of diplomatic relations with Moscow "due to Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia and the Tskhinval region". The Georgian Foreign Ministry reported at that time that it would retain consular relations with Russia. Sections of interest of Russia and Georgia have been working at corresponding Swiss embassies in the two countries since March 2009.

In November 2012, Georgia’s then Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili established a post of the prime minister’s special envoy for relations with Russia and appointed Zurab Abashidze, a renowned diplomat and the country’s ambassador to Russia between 2000 and 2004. On December 14, 2012, Abashidze’s first meeting with Karasin, who is the state secretary and deputy foreign minister, took place in a Geneva suburb, a breakthrough after the cutoff of Russia-Georgia diplomatic ties. Since 2013, senior diplomats have been holding three to four meetings a year in the Czech capital of Prague, focusing on cooperation in trade, economy, transport, culture, humanitarian and current issues.