Degnan: Russia’s calls for restoration ties with Georgia unreliable until it withdraws troops

Russia and Georgia suspended diplomatic relations after the Russia-Georgia 2008 war, while trade and economic relations were restored back in 2013. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 02 Sep 2021 - 14:19, Tbilisi,Georgia

US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan has responded to the recent statement of Russian FM Sergey Lavrov on preparedness to restore relations with Georgia, stating that Georgia ‘has many times heard’ such messages from Russia and they are not trustworthy until Russia withdraws its troops from the Georgian territory. 

She said that Russia ‘has taken no steps so far’ to de-occupy Georgia’s Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions. 

Lavrov said earlier this week that if Tbilisi ‘stops using Russia as a card to maintain western support’ Moscow is ready to restore ties with Georgia which were suspended after the Russia-Georgia 2008 war. 

Russia is ready for this if Georgia wants to live a normal life with us as a neighbor,” RIA Novosti has cited Lavrov as saying during his recent speech at Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

Lavrov also said that Russia was ready to cancel the visa regime for Georgian citizens back in 2019. However, the protests in Tbilisi that year, which were sparked by the presence of Russian MPs in the Georgian parliament, hampered the process.