Georgian PM says ready and willing to meet with Putin

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-12-25 9:31:55

Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili on Monday said he is ready and willing to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Meetings between leaders of countries are not so simple, especially in my case," the prime minister told the local press.

"Our situation is especially difficult. I think that this meeting will take place but not immediately, though we must not exclude anything. But such meetings require proper preparation which is not in place right now."

"I don't know whether he (the Russian president) is going to Davos or not. I'm going to arrive there," the prime minister added.

He told the local press that he is optimistic about improving relations with Russia and that his government is pursuing a calm, patient and consistent rhetoric which would yield better results than a tough-worded one.

The Georgian prime minister cited as good signals from the Russian side remarks made by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian first deputy foreign minister, Andrey Denisov.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday Russia-Georgia relations must be normalized.

"We see positive signals from the new Georgian authorities; we respond the same way," Putin told reporters during his annual press conference here.

Russia's first deputy foreign minister also said on Friday the issue of entry of Georgian products into the Russian market had been solved and that only purely technical procedures had remained.

Ivanishvili said "I hope that with calm, constructive but principled position we will have better results." "I think it is possible to have better results with more patience and less emotions."

When asked about relations with other CIS (the Commonwealth of Independent States) countries, the prime minister replied that Georgia should have good relations with all the CIS countries.

"Our strategy is Europe and Euro-Atlantic space and we are not going to change this strategy. At the same time we should improve and deepen our relations with all the countries which are CIS members," the prime minister added.

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. It also pulled out of the CIS bloc following the war.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said earlier Moscow would resume contact with Tbilisi only if Georgia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another breakaway region.

Posted in: Europe

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