Russia’s PM Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Swiss President and Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey in Geneva on June 15, that “regrets” Moscow had to keep ties with Tbilisi via a mediator.
Switzerland represents Russia’s interests in Georgia and those of Georgia in Russia after the two countries cut diplomatic relations following the August, 2008 war. Switzerland also acts as a mediator in Russia-Georgia talks over Moscow’s WTO entry terms.
“We regret very much, that we have to build relations with Georgia through mediation of Switzerland, but we are very much grateful to you,” Putin told the Swiss President.
Russian PM’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told journalists in Geneva that the Switzerland’s role as a mediator between Russia and Georgia “is gaining more significance.”
The Swiss Foreign Ministry said that talks between Putin and Calmy-Rey “primarily concerned the question of Russian membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO) as well as aspects of bilateral and multilateral cooperation.”