Responding to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s remarks that Moscow is ready to restore diplomatic ties with Tbilisi, President Saakashvili’s spokesperson said on January 26 that it would only happen after Moscow shuts down its embassies in Sokhumi and Tskhinvali.
“Diplomatic relations with Russia will be restored only after illegally opened [Russia’s] so called embassies in Sokhumi and Tskhinvali are closed down. It was not our whim to cut diplomatic ties with Russia; this step was undertaken after Russia’s invasion into Georgia and occupation of 20% of our territories,” Manana Manjgaladze, the Georgian President’s spokesperson, said.
Commenting on Medvedev’s remarks that Moscow wants to have good relations with the Georgian people, but will not even shake hands with President Saakashvili, Manjgaladze said: “They have problems not with particular persons, not with Mikheil Saakashvili, but with the population of Georgia.”
President Saakashvili has left for the United States where he will meet with President Obama at the White House on January 30. But before heading to Washington, his press office said, President Saakashvili will participate in Basecamp summit, which will be held in Squaw Valley, a ski resort in California.