Georgia’s former Prime Minister, Zurab Nogaideli, who now leads the opposition party Movement for Fair Georgia, met with Russian PM, Vladimir Putin, in Moscow on December 23.
The meeting was also attended by Mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, and State Duma Speaker, Boris Gryzlov.
In the opening remarks at the meeting made in presence of the press, Putin said that relations between Georgia and Russia were “at all time low” and in “poor condition,” according to the Russian media reports.
“This is the result of the policy by official Tbilisi. In case of other type of policy, I am sure, tragic events which took place year and a half ago in Abkhazia and South Ossetia [reference to the August war] would not have happened,” Putin was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency.
He said that the Georgian leadership still continued such policy and added that the decision to demolish the World War II memorial in Kutaisi was an example of “anti-people policy”. Putin reiterated that Russia was ready to rebuild the monument in Moscow. He said that he hoped this idea would be received positively among the Georgian society, which could serve “a platform” for a dialogue if not between the politicians, at least between the civil society representatives.
Meanwhile, President Saakashvili said in an interview with the Echo Moskvy radio station, aired on December 23, that it would be possible to negotiate with Russia “if the Russian state will be recognizing the Georgian state.”
“Today they [the Russian leadership] not only reject to recognize the democratically elected Georgian government, but also refuse to recognize the Georgian state itself,” Saakashvili said.