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Georgia & Russia Reconciliation to Help Armenia

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 09:54 AM

Russia, Georgia to Turn New Page after Saakashvili’s Exit – Medvedev




MOSCOW, August 4 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Sunday he looked optimistic about the prospects of bilateral relations between Russia and Georgia five years after a brief war between the two countries.

“In this regard, I'm a total optimist. I'm convinced that everything will be fine. Our peoples aren't enemies,” Medvedev said in an interview with Russia Today international news TV Channel.


“Of course, the conflict didn't help but it wasn't based on deep-running disagreements. Again, that was a criminal mistake of certain leaders. But these days the situation is indeed a bit different. The country's new leadership that was brought in by the political and constitutional reforms is taking a more pragmatic stance... We welcome that,” Medvedev 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.


The Georgian Dream coalition led by current Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili won the October 1, 2012, parliamentary election, forcing the United National Movement, which had ruled Georgia since the Rose Revolution in 2003 and is led by President Mikheil Saakashvili, into the opposition.


The elections were vital in the light of a law passed in 2010 transferring the majority of the president’s executive powers to the prime minister when Saakashvili’s second term ends in the fall of 2013.


Georgia’s new government, elected in the October 1, 2012 polls, said normalizing ties with Russia was among its top priorities.

Medvedev said it was not Moscow that had cut diplomatic relations with Georgia.


“We are ready to reaffirm them on certain conditions. And those conditions are simple - just recognizing what happened. This process may be very delicate and complex. But I’m sure there’s no going back, and when Saakashvili and some other people who participated in taking this criminal decision [to launch an offensive on South Ossetia] are gone, we will turn the page and close this sad chapter in our relations.”


Medvedev also said the peoples of Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia would themselves decide how to develop their relations.

“The choice lies with the people who live there, the people of Georgia and the leaders they elect.  The people of Abkhazia and the people of South Ossetia have the power to give their leaders any kind of mandate, and this will be constitutional and in line with universally-recognized  international practices,” Medvedev said.


“We want them to live in peace. But it’s up to them to decide what relations they will have with each other. We will not interfere with these processes. But of course, we will defend Russia’s national interests.”

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 07:32 PM

NATO Membership Would Strain Georgia’s Ties with Russia – Medvedev



MOSCOW, August 6 (RIA Novosti) – Membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would not give Georgia any advantages for further development and would only strain relations with Russia, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday.


“This would give nothing to Georgia as a sovereign and dynamically developing state, but would create a long-term source of tensions between our countries,” Medvedev said in an interview with Georgia’s Rustavi-2 television channel.


Speaking in regard to the fifth anniversary of the brief war between Russia and Georgia over the breakaway Georgian republic of South Ossetia, Medvedev said it the military intervention was the right decision for him to make as president at that time in order to stabilize the region.


“I believe that everything that was undertaken by us, including by me as president, our Armed Forces and finally at a diplomatic level, enabled the situation to be allayed. They were not the easy decisions to make, but I believe everything was done right in that sense,” he said.


The prime minister also expressed hope that Georgia would begin direct talks with South Ossetia on issues such as refugees and the non-use of military force.

Georgia lost control over one-fifth of its territory after South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another former republic within Georgia, broke away and were recognized by Moscow in the wake of a brief war between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia that erupted on August 8, 2008.


In the interview, Medvedev also reiterated that the presence of the Russian military forces in South Ossetia and Abkhazia complied with legal norms and could not be viewed as an occupation of Georgian territory.


Tbilisi passed the Law on Occupied Territories in October 2008, declaring the "Territory of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia" and the "Tskhinvali Region,” or South Ossetia, as "occupied territories." The law forbids entry into the regions from Russia and subjects violators to a fine or imprisonment.


Moscow provides the breakaway republics with economic and military support and has recognized their independence, along with a handful of other countries. Most countries do not recognize South Ossetia or Abkhazia as independent states, but view them as part of Georgia.

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