The Russian Foreign Ministry said on November 3 while commenting on PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s decision to appoint his special envoy for relations with Russia that Moscow was expecting from Tbilisi to take unspecified “concrete practical steps.”
“I think that it would be inappropriate to make any predictions about activities of Z. Abashidze,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in comments posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website on a question whether the appointment of Zurab Abashidze as special representative for relations with Russia could help improve bilateral ties.
“I will only say that he is known here [in Russia] with his work as [Georgia’s] ambassador in our country and by his later visits [to Russia]. He himself knows Russia well too,” Lukashevich said echoing Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin, who said on November 1 that Abashidze was a familiar face for many people in Russia’s foreign policy circles.
“We are certainly paying attention to Tbilisi’s statements about normalization of relations with Russia and relevant appointments; however, first and foremost we expect from Georgia’s new government to take concrete practical steps,” Lukashevich said.