Moscow said it does not expect that arranging talks between Georgian and Russian leaders will be discussed “in practical terms” when diplomats from the two countries meet in Prague next week.
Meeting between Georgian PM’s special representatives for relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Grigory Karasin, is scheduled for March 4-5.
This format of dialogue between the two countries, which have no diplomatic relations since the August 2008 war, was launched in December, 2012 to address issues related mainly to trade, economy and people-to-people contacts.
“We do not expect that in Prague modalities of high-level meeting will be discussed in practical terms. It [possible top-level meeting] has to be comprehensively prepared. The both sides are interested in this. In accordance to usual interstate practice, an extensive preparatory work should precede a meeting between leaders in order to elaborate common ideas about agreements, which could be the result of [such top-level meeting],” Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich, said in a statement on February 26.
Lukashevich said that this format of “informal dialogue” between Abashidze and Karasin has brought some results, among them return of the Georgian products back on the Russian market.
“Georgia’s participation in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games had a positive effect on atmosphere of bilateral relations,” Lukashevich said.
He said that during the upcoming meeting, which will be the sixth one, Abashidze and Karasin will continue discussing issues “on which long-term progress is possible”, and will exchange views about ongoing and possible bilateral projects in the fields of transportation and trade.