Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Russia, Georgia Unlikely to Restore Ties by Sochi Games

Russia and Georgia are unlikely to restore their diplomatic ties by the time Russia holds the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in its southern Black Sea resort of Sochi, Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said. “Probably not. For this you need time and the right conditions,” Ivanishvili told Deutsche Welle in an interview when the German broadcaster asked him if that was possible.  “We are working on resuming regular flights between Moscow and Tbilisi. There are ongoing negotiations on visa facilitation and even the abolition of visas. But one thing is problematic, for example, the construction of barriers at the borders with Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” Ivanishvili, Georgia’s premier since October 2012, said. Russia and Georgia severed diplomatic ties in 2008 after Moscow recognized de-facto independent Georgian republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states following a brief military conflict over South Ossetia. Georgia’s new government, elected in the October 1, 2012 polls, said normalizing ties with Russia was among its top priorities.

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