Georgian PM says hopes to meet Russian leader soonSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 19/12/2012 7:09 am in World / no comments
TBILISI, Dec. 18 — Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said Tuesday that he hopes to meet with Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev or President Vladimir Putin soon, but no meeting is imminent.
Ivanishvili, who took office in October, told reporters that his special envoy, Zurab Abashidze, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gregory Karasin met recently in Geneva but there are no plans for any high-level meetings at this time.
The Geneva meeting, he said, was about commercial and cultural relations between the two countries and the restoration of regular air flights.
“We hope the process will continue and we’ll manage to regulate relations with Russia. … We’ll be consecutive and adhere to principles in our activities in relations with Russia,” Ivanishvili said.
The next meeting between the two special envoys, he added, “will probably be held at the latest after two months.”
Georgia cut off diplomatic relations with Russia after a brief war between the two countries in August 2008 over control of the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia.
Medvedev said earlier that Moscow would resume contact with Tbilisi only if Georgia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another breakaway region.
Ivanishvili said in November that Tbilisi would restore ties with Moscow “from a clean page,” but insisted that the restoration of diplomatic relations be linked to his country’s territorial integrity.