Abashidze stresses importance of informal Georgian-Russian dialogue

Zurab Abashidze, Georgian PM's special representative for relations with Russia
Agenda.ge, 19 Oct 2014 - 15:08, Tbilisi,Georgia

Special representative of Georgia’s Prime Minister for relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze believes Georgian-Russian informal dialogue is the only communication channel with Russia and it should continue.

Abashidze said this was the way to discuss practical issues such as trade and economic relations, humanitarian and cultural issues with Russian representatives.

"Every country has communication with Russia, including Ukraine which has not cut diplomatic relations despite having such a difficult situation,” Abashidze said at his special press conference yesterday.

"So, at this point we are looking at this format - this is the communication channel with Russia. We will take all the steps in accordance to the interests of the state.”

In 2012, Georgia’s then-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili introduced the new post of Special Representative for Relations with Russia, and appointed Abashidze, Georgia’s former Ambassador to Moscow to this role. Since then, Abashidze has continued to negotiate on behalf of the country concerning Georgia-Russia issues with Russia’s deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin.

After Abashidze and Karasin could not deal on Russia-Abkhazia new treaty at Prague meeting on October 16, some Georgian officials said the Abashidze-Karasin format had exhausted itself and was no longer needed.