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Georgian-Russian meeting: To be or not to be2012-12-12 14:25
The first meeting of the representatives of Russian Foreign Ministry with Special Representative of Georgian Prime Minister for Relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze can be held on Thursday or Friday this week in Switzerland. "Now we are working out the issue of the time of such a meeting. It is expected to take place on Thursday or Friday in Switzerland", Abashidze stated.
He noted that the first meeting would be very significant, since a number of technical queries must be clarified during it, the Interfax reported. "We need to discuss how to build the new format of our dialogue, and we have to clarify a number of issues of a technical nature", Abashidze said.
Previously, Special Representative of Georgian Prime Minister for Relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze stated that Georgia was interested in the abolition of visa regime with Russia, the Rosbalt reported. "What should Georgia expect from Russia? If Russia abolishes the visa regime between the countries, as it has been already done on the part of Georgia, it would be a good step forward", he said.
Abashidze emphasized that the West allows Georgia and Russia to resolve their relationship without intervention. "Yes, it will happen soon. But we need to take steps in this direction", said the Georgian Special Representative.
Meanwhile, Georgian and Russian experts positively estimate the initiative of the first Russian-Georgian meeting since the 2008 war, but note that it is too early to speak of the normalization of bilateral relations. The upcoming meeting is likely to be purely technical, and the talk will touch only the opening of the Russian market for Georgia.
"I do not expect a fundamental breakthrough, since we are still only at the beginning of a long journey", rector of the Georgian Diplomatic Academy, political scientist Soso Tsintsadze admits in an interview to the Big Caucasus. "But the fact that the process has begun is setting on optimistic mood".
According to Tsintsadze, at the meeting they will not address the issue of the "reoccupation of Georgian territories", the restoration of diplomatic relations and the old historical friendship between the two countries. "Our expectations are modest", the expert said. "Probably, at this stage the Georgian side is very happy if we can resolve the economic and trade issues. Opening of the Russian market for Georgian agricultural products - this is, perhaps, the sole issue to discuss at the forthcoming meeting".