Restoring relations with Russia unacceptable now: Georgian official

Restoring relations with Russia unacceptable now: Georgian official

PanARMENIAN.Net - Georgian Prime Minister’s special envoy for relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze discussed the issue of Georgian breakaway republics' borders during his meeting with a Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin in the Czech capital Prague on Thursday, Sept 19, according to RIA Novosti.

The situation on the border between Georgia and its de-facto independent republic of South Ossetia deteriorated on Tuesday when Russian border guards started installing a barbed wire fence near the border with Georgia. Tbilisi accused Moscow of violating international norms.

Abashidze said he expressed the Georgian government’s deep concern about “the blatant violation of humanitarian and international norms” to Karasin.

“The restoration of diplomatic relations with Russia is in principle unacceptable for Georgia at this stage,” Itar-Tass quoted Abashidze as saying after the meeting.

“Right now, this is unacceptable in principle, for us it would mean the recognition of the so-called new realities,” he said. “Georgia cannot do this.”

“Our country was falling apart not once, but we have lived to this day,” he added. “I think that we will see a lot more in our lifetime.”

Abashidze also said that Georgia’s participation in the Sochi Olympics in 2014 was “an uneasy decision” for Tbilisi.

“We have politicians who criticize it, but we do not want to mix politics with sports,” he said. “We want the Olympic Games to pass peacefully and quietly, without incidents.”

It has been five years since the end of the "Five-Day War" in 2008 -- the armed conflict between Russia and Georgia in South Ossetia. In the aftermath of the events of August 7-12, diplomatic ties between Russia and Georgia were terminated, and relations between the two countries teetered between confrontation and the search for new political dialog, saysa publication on Russia Direct.

Most obstinate of all was the issue of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. After 2008, Moscow recognized the two republics as independent states

The first steps toward mending relations with Russia were, in fact, taken under Mikheil Saakashvili when Georgia agreed to Russia's accession to the WTO, thereby creating opportunities for economic cooperation within an international framework.

Big strides were then made by the government of Bidzina Ivanishvili, who came to power as a result of the victory of the opposition (the Georgian Dream coalition) in the parliamentary elections of 2012.

Saakashvili still retains the presidency, but in reality his power is minimal: The country is run by the Cabinet of Ministers, and the president's National Movement resides in opposition.

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