15 Jul 2019 16:17

Russia ready to move toward relieving Georgia of restrictions - Duma committee head Kalashnikov

MOSCOW. July 15 (Interfax) - Russia could take steps toward a gradual lifting of the restrictions it imposed on Georgia, Chairman of the State Duma committee for CIS Affairs Leonid Kalashnikov told journalists following a meeting with Georgian parliamentarians from the opposition Alliance of the Patriots of Georgia.

"Russia is ready to move, in every possible way, toward phasing out the restrictions. I know that. I often talk [about it], including with officials," Kalashnikov said.

He did not rule out decisions "which were recently discussed with representatives from the Alliance of the Patriots of Georgia."

The two countries' parliamentarians additionally discussed the possibility of scrapping visa requirements.

"Of course, Russia will do this in the full understanding and confidence that that is what the Georgian authorities are prepared to do as well," Kalashnikov said.

The recent Duma request for the government to impose economic special measures on Georgia were "aimed largely at Georgian authorities," he said.

"Basically, that statement meant that if you understand and draw conclusions, then we are ready to re-embark on this path of cooperation. I'm sure there should be no other result," Kalashnikov said.

The Alliance's faction head Giorgi Lomia, in turn, said he hoped that after "two or three such meetings, we will secure an improvement in relations" between Russia and Georgia.

"Those who proposed the sanctions against Georgia, that's who we're talking to," Lomia said.