20 Mar 2018 16:37

Tbilisi not ruling out high-level contacts with Russia but wants to discuss territorial integrity

TBILISI. March 20 (Interfax) - A high-level dialogue between Tbilisi and Moscow should take place sooner or later, Zurab Abashidze, the Georgian prime minister's special representative for relations with Russia, said.

"In principle, a high-level dialogue between our countries should take place sooner or later, but a meeting of the chief executives should be prepared well. It would be odd if such a meeting took place and were yet again dedicated to discussing commerce or transport issues, which we discuss in Prague. Such a meeting should lead to some kind of political result concerning the very difficult issues of Georgia's territorial integrity," Abashidze said on the Georgian television channel Pirveli.

Commenting on Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili's recent statement on the need for a dialogue with Abkhazians and South Ossetians, Abashidze said that this dialogue began a long time ago at various levels and has not ended, but that direct contacts with the authorities of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are out of the question.

"We're now talking about the new initiatives which we have prepared. Those initiatives involve the broader involvement of the Georgian, Abkhazian, and South Ossetian sides," Abashidze said, adding that much would depend on Russia's stance.