Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili released today an appeal to the Russian Federation, calling on its authorities to take “reasonable” steps for bringing the Georgian-Russian relations out of “a vicious circle,” and reiterating his earlier proposal for direct dialogue with Sokhumi and Tskhinvali.
“In August, ten years will have passed since the 2008 War happened; this dramatic development has left a deep imprint on the consciousness of the Georgian people and on the Russian-Georgian relations,” the Prime Minister said, adding that Moscow’s recognition of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region had led the interstate relations to “a deadlock.”
PM Kvirikashvili then noted that the two countries “face a choice - whether to meet this date with mutual accusations and sharp statements,” or “to take reasonable, at least minimal steps, for bringing our relations out of this vicious circle.”
“We have already stated and would like to reiterate that we are interested in achieving tangible progress in the Geneva International Discussions, and I have already confirmed my readiness to personally engage in the process (talks),” Kvirikashvili said.
The Prime Minister then reiterated that Tbilisi was “ready for direct dialogue with the Abkhaz and the [South] Ossetians,” and that “Russia’s constructive approach would only be welcomed to that end.” “With political will in place, we believe it is feasible to take other reasonable steps as well.”
PM Kvirikashvili touched upon the death of Archil Tatunashvili, saying such “tragic” events “undermine” the prospects of normalizing the Georgian-Russian relations. “Tatunashvili’s body has not yet been transferred to his family, despite efforts from the Government of Georgia, the Georgian Patriarch and the international community,” he said.
“I urge the leadership of the Russian Federation to take joint steps and resolve this difficult situation, while fully embracing our responsibility to the present and future generations,” the Prime Minister concluded.
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced that the government was ready to launch “a direct dialogue” with Sokhumi and Tskhinvali during his pre-confidence vote meetings in the Parliament of Georgia on December 20, 2017.
Kvirikashvili said then that the policy inherited from the previous government represented “shackles,” and “an established system of stereotypes, views and approaches, even the slightest change of which is regarded nearly as treason by this so called opposition [the former ruling party members].”
The Prime Minister also noted that the country sought to “raise the level” in the Geneva International Discussions “from deputy ministerial to at least ministerial level,” saying he was ready to participate personally as well.