Georgia wants to have normal relations with Russia which it considers to be important for stability, Georgian Prime Minister Georgy Kvirikashvili said at an international conference in Tbilisi on Tuesday.
“Georgia does not want to be dragged into confrontation with Russia. We should avoid any complications in future. We want to have normal relations with Russia but everybody should understand that it will not happen at the cost of Georgia’s territorial integrity, which lies within our country’s internationally recognized borders,” Kvirikashvili told a two-day international conference “Europe’s Changing Geostrategic Landscape After the Warsaw Summit”.
Zurab Abashidze, the Georgian prime minister’s special representative for relations with Russia, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin have been meeting each other once in three months since December 2012 to discuss cooperation in trade, transport and economy as well as humanitarian problems. The meetings are the first direct dialogue, which Russian and Georgian officials established after the 2008 conflict in South Ossetia.
At the same time, some politicians, including Nino Burdzhanadze, the former parliament speaker who has headed the Democratic Movement – United Georgia party in recent years, believe that reciprocal dialogue should go beyond trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation and that full-scale normalization of relations between the two countries is impossible if the first persons in Russia and Georgia do not meet to discuss all thorny issues, which have accumulated in bilateral relations,” the Georgian politician stressed.
Nevertheless, at least part of the local parties, including the former ruling United National Movement, are against Georgia’s direct dialogue with Russia. They believe that Tbilisi should use the West for exerting pressure on Moscow with an aim to change Russia’s policy towards Georgia.