TBILISI, DFWatch — Russia and Georgia will soon meet to discuss allowing import of Georgian agricultural products and restoring regular flights between the two countries.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow is ready to start talks about the issue, but that Georgia has not yet responded about the specifics of such talks.
The Georgian Dream coalition came into power in October after campaigning on a promise to mend relations with Russia. Diplomatic relations were cut off after the war in August, 2008. The only diplomatic contact has since been periodic meetings between the warring parties from 2008, known as the Geneva talks.
There have been about twenty such meetings, which have produced almost no concrete results.
After becoming prime minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili made a first step toward restoring relations with Russia: He appointed Zurab Abashidze, an experienced diplomat, as special representative for Russian relations.
Ivanishvili a few days ago expressed concern about the lack of a response from Russia. But Sunday, Lavrov said Russia is ready to resume regular flights.
“Many people know we have for couple of years restored charter flights. Recently, number of charter flights has been increased; we are ready to consider the restoration of regular air service,” Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting with members of the government trustees of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He also said that Russia is ready to restore the supply of agricultural products from Georgia.
“When we are told that Georgia wants to further improve the relationship, and then we are ready to consider the resumption of supply of agricultural products,” he said on Sunday. “Let us not forget that the electricity and gas to Georgia follows the line of companies with Russian participation.”
Lavrov said Moscow is ready to respond to Georgia appointing a special representative, and that a meeting will take place soon.
“We hope that this meeting will clarify something.”
Zurab Abashidze told DF Watch no one yet contacted him and he doesn’t have specific information about this issue, but he will make a statement about it on Monday.