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Georgian prime minister sees no alternative to pragmatic relations with Russia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili

Georgia is seeking to develop its relations in Eurasia and keeps in mind all existing opportunities, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said at an annual meeting of foreign ambassadors to Georgia.

Concerning relations with neighbors, Garibashvili said that Georgia was on close terms with Azerbaijan, Turkey and Armenia and added that he saw no alternative to peaceful dialogue with Russia.

“It is important that our government should continue its pragmatic policy with respect to its neighbors, including Russia. Here I see no alternative to peaceful dialogue and pragmatic policy,” the Georgian prime minister said.

He said that the key priority of Georgia’s foreign policy was European integration.

“Our key task is to integrate into Europe and to join NATO but at one and the same time we should deepen our cooperation with China, Asia and the Middle East. I think this is right,” Garibashvili said.

Garibashvili said this in response to a statement by newly appointed Georgian Foreign Minister Georgy Kvirikashvili that Georgia is considering all opportunities existing in Eurasia. The opposition took this as a curtsey to the Eurasian Economic Union of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.

Garibashvili’s special representative for relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze advised those who misunderstood Kvirikashvili’s statement to buy a geography textbook and to see that Eurasian consists of Europe and Asia.

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