Georgia’s PM Irakli Garibashvili said that Russia has “kept its promise” not to interfere with signing of Georgia’s Association Agreement with the EU and added that he wants to “welcome” Moscow’s “constructive policy.”
Speaking in an interview with the Georgian Public Broadcaster in Brussels on June 27 after signing of the Association Agreement, including deep and comprehensive free trade area, Garibashvili said: “The fact that we freely signed today the Association Agreement is a result of constructive policy of our government.”
“Result of our constructive policy is that the Russian market was reopened for our products and we have seen reciprocal constructive steps more than once from the Russian side, which can only be welcomed,” he said. “I want to welcome their constructive policy. The promise, which they publicly voiced, that they would not interfere in Georgia’s Association Agreement process has been kept and I want to welcome it.”
“Of course we remain on our principle [position] on the major issue related to our occupied territories and we continue working on this, but it does not hinder [efforts] to intensify and improve our trade relations with Russia and to start confidence-building process,” Garibashvili said.
He reiterated the same position in an interview with CNBC in Brussels also on June 27 and said that his government has been pursuing a constructive policy towards Russia in order to “de-escalate tension” with Moscow.
“And also Russia showed a constructive policy towards us and I think it worked well,” Garibashvili said. “Russia promised that they would not interfere with Georgia’s Association Agreement process and I think they did it; therefore, so far we see no signs of complication of this process.”
“We are conducting a very constructive policy towards all the neighboring countries, including Russia. I have to make clear that Georgia’s European integration process became irreversible, but it does not conflict with our aspiration to have normal relations with our neighbors, including Russia,” the Georgian PM said.