Next Georgia-Russian meeting could involve highest officials

Putin said Russia would be happy to accept guests from Georgian Government on a press-conference yesterday., 19 Dec 2014 - 14:06, Tbilisi,Georgia

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would be happy to host a Georgian Government delegation if they visited his nation.

Putin spoke about his willingness to host his Georgian counterpart and about the renewed trade relationship between the two countries at a press conference yesterday.

"Unfortunately now we have very few contacts inside Georgia. They, in fact, do not exist anymore. However the political battle does not stop [and] we see this,” he said.

"Despite this, with the request of the Georgian Government, we liberalised the Russian market for Georgian goods supply. We did this in exchange of joining the World Trade Organisation despite our political differences,” said Putin.

"This was a good gesture from the Georgian Government and we responded by opening our market. In the future we are ready to move in this direction. If the Georgian Government decides this, we will be happy to host any guests from its government,” Putin noted.

The Georgian Prime Minister’s special representative for relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze responded to Putin’s announcement and noted that a meeting with Putin was possible, but the time, place and topics of discussion had to be planned in detail.

"We reiterate the possibility of a meeting but emphasize that it needs serious, thorough preparation,” Abashidze said.

"In particular, we need to agree on the place, time and topics of the meeting. In our opinion, a Georgia-Russia meeting at highest level should be focused on the discussion of the main problematic issues. It should aim at reaching concrete results and gradual resolution of these problems,” Abashidze noted.

Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Tamar Beruchashvili commented on Putin’s statement and noted meetings in any format with other countries, especially Russia, should serve the interests of the Georgian state.

"Who, where, how, why – approaches on this issues should be agreed. Georgia’s Foreign Ministry is not working on this currently. We are engaged in the Geneva format. Abashidze-Karasin dialogue also exists, which is experiencing a pause at this moment because next meeting has not been planned yet,” she said.

"I wish Moscow would sent us such messages that do not contradict the principles of international law and universal values [and adhere to] those treaties and declarations which Russia has also signed,” she said.