Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, who last September has called President Saakashvili “a political corpse” and in separate remarks - “a person burdened with a mass of pathologies,” reiterated on April 2 that he would only talk with Georgia’s new leadership.
“We would like to have good relations with Georgia; we love and respect the Georgian people,” Medvedev said while speaking at the London School of Economics; he, however, also added: “I do not want to have any relations with President Saakashvili and I do not want to communicate with him.”
“If, as a result of democratic processes, the leadership is replaced in Georgia sooner or later, we are open for discussing any issue,” Medvedev said.
He also said that when he became the President, he met with Saakashvili and “said we are ready to help restore territorial integrity, but he has to behave correctly.”
On March 21, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said in Brussels that he hoped “Georgia would have leaders, who really will be guided by the interest of Georgian people.”
In a response, his Georgian counterpart, Grigol Vashadze, said, that despite Russia’s efforts to undermine Georgia’s sitting leadership, Moscow will have to deal with it till 2013, when President Saakashvili’s second term in office expires.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Andrei Nesterenko, said at a news conference in Moscow on April 2 that Georgia was still driven by revenge against Sokhumi and Tskhinvali and warned the United States against arms supply to Georgia.
Nesterenko’s comments were made in response to President Saakashvili’s remarks made at a joint news conference with General James Cartwright, vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, in Tbilisi on March 30. Saakashvili said: “In the condition, when the situation is difficult in the region – and no one should have any illusion about it, that Georgia will continue creating modern, high level, much stronger armed forces, increasing its armament, number of soldiers and personnel and what is most important, increasing the level of training in order to defend our country more effectively.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said that such comments demonstrated that Georgia had “not learnt the lesson from last year's events in the Caucasus and probably cherishes plans of revenge.”
Nesterenko also said that foreign assistance to Tbilisi to restore its armed forces, could not be considered “otherwise than encouragement of the aggressor.”
“We expect that the United States, Ukraine and others, considering themselves to be responsible international players, will take this into account in their policy,” he said. "The tragic experience we have has indisputably demonstrated that to give weapons into the hands of today's Georgian leadership is extremely dangerous for the neighbouring nations, for the whole region and even for Georgia itself.”