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Russia’s response leaves room for conversation: Georgian prime minister

Giorgi Kvirikashvili. Photo: sova.news

Even a little progress in the Geneva discussions is a source of stability for Georgia, which is necessary for the country, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said, commenting on the Russian Foreign Ministry's response to his appeal to the Russian leadership.

"I want to note the answer that we have received from the Russian Federation. Of course, much can be unacceptable in this answer, but I need to say one thing: this answer leaves room for conversation. There is a format of international Geneva discussions, let's make steps in it that will bring at least little progress. This progress can be a source of stability for Georgia," Kvirikashvili said at a government meeting on March 14.

At the same time, as the Georgian leader mentioned, he still hopes that the majority of the population "gives a sound assessment to what is happening in the country." According to him, efforts should be made to create a stable space "in this troubled world." "If something is needed for our country, it is an opportunity for a stable life," the prime minister said.

As EADaily reported earlier, Giorgi Kvirikashvili addressed with a public statement to the Russian leadership, where he noted that, despite the restoration of trade relations between Georgia and Russia, "the series of tragic events continues" and "there is a need to demonstrate political will, take steps to overcome the present hardship and break free from the vicious circle." According to him, Georgia "is interested in real progress in the process of international discussions in Geneva." The prime minister expressed readiness to personally take part in the negotiations.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, in response to the statement of the Georgian prime minister, has circulated a comment expressing Moscow's interest in improving the relations with neighboring Georgia, as far as they are ready for it in Tbilisi. As they in the Russian foreign ministry noted, the Georgian prime minister's quest for progress at the Geneva talks on security in Transcaucasia "inspires hope for constructive mood of the Georgian side during the next round" to be held in the end of March. In addition, the foreign ministry expressed conviction that such an approach "would be supported by the other negotiators, regardless of who the Georgian delegation in Geneva will be led by."

The prime minister’s appeal received a mixed reception in Georgia. Members of the ruling team supported the position of their leader, while opposition figures and parties have been criticizing the position of the head of government for several days, urging him to resign.

Georgian Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze noted that "unfortunately, Russia does not respond to the pragmatic approach with its pragmatic approach." According to the deputy speaker of the Georgian Parliament Gia Volski, no one should have expected the Russian answer "with the content of sentiments, acknowledgement and self-chastising."

The opposition United National Movement called the prime minister to resign, believing that the statement of the Russian foreign ministry is the result of the "unscrupulous and obsequious" policy of the Georgian authorities.

As the representative of the party Tinatin Bokuchava stated, "when we hear treacherous statements from the prime minister, when their ministers do not recognize Putin as an enemy, when people who kill our citizens outside the occupation line are not punished and, therefore, the (Georgian) authorities do not want to accept principled and viable resolutions in the parliament - these steps will naturally be followed by mocking statements that we heard yesterday from the Russian Federation."

The Secretary-General of another opposition party, European Georgia, Gigi Bokeria, in turn noted that Kvirikashvili by his "reckless, irresponsible and naive appeal" provided Russia an additional argument against Georgia.

Tbilisi severed diplomatic relations with Russia in 2008 due to Russia's recognition of the Abkhazia and South Ossetia independence, which occurred after Georgia's aggression against South Ossetia. Since then, Switzerland is the mediator between Russia and Georgia.

The relations of the countries are currently regulated in two formats the Geneva International Discussions (GID), which are mediated by the EU, the UN and the OSCE, with the participation of delegations from Georgia, Russia, the United States, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as in the Karasin-Abashidze format at the end of 2012 after the Georgian Dream Coalition came to power in Georgia. The format of the meetings does not include consideration of political issues; specific issues of trade, transport communication, cultural and humanitarian cooperation are being addressed.

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