Tbilisi, DFWatch – Georgia’s new government’s declared foreign policy priorities haven’t changed and country will have good relations with its neighbors, but will never return to the Russian-dominated CIS, said prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili of Monday’s press conference when asked by the journalist whether Georgia’s new government plans to return to the Commonwealth of Independent States ‘in any form’.
A week ago Alexander Lukashenko, president of Belarus, was quoted as saying that literally he was ready to ask ’on his knees’ to Georgian government to get back to the CIS.
The CIS was set up by post-Soviet independent states in early 90s and consisted of all those states except three Baltic countries, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Georgia was the last country joining the union amidst bitter civil war and immediately after the catastrophic Abkhazian war, in December of 1993 and left it in the fall of 2008 in the wake of Russo-Georgian war.
Despite leaving the CIS, Georgia still remains participant of 75 multilateral agreements, including visa-free rules and free trade aerias.
Bidzina Ivanishvili says that it is unacceptable for Georgia to return back to the CIS.
“Georgia is not planning to change the strategy, but we should deepen relations with our neighbor states, especially with the CIS member countries. Our relations will be regulated only if it won’t interrupt our Euro-integration and foreign policy course,” PM remarked.
As for relations with Russia, PM doesn’t plan to demand anything from President of Russia. In addition, he said he has a big desire to meet with Vladimir Putin, but there is no readiness for this yet.
“I want to meet him, but it is not so simple. This meeting will take place, but not so fast… We have very consistend rhetoric,” – said Ivanishvili.
PM doesn’t exclude to meet with Russian high officials in Davos, Switzerland, where Ivanishvili plans to take part in the World Economic Forum at the end of January.
Asked about visit to the U.S. which should have been the first place for him to go as a Prime Minister, as stated prior to the October 1 elections, it probably will take place in spring, but date is not yet set, Ivanishvili says now.
He re-stated on Monday that Georgia’s ‘strategic’ priority is still relations with the EU and the path of “European Integration”.
“its my dream to develop Georgia as a pure European country,” Ivanishvili said. “But it will take some time.’
On December 26 Bidzina Ivanishvili visits Azerbaijan and on January 17 Armenia.