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We will talk to anyone who wants to, Russia says

By Salome Modebadze
Monday, January 25
Russia is ready to listen to all Georgian politicians eager to sit down for talks with Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at the annual summarizing press conference on January 22 while discussing the Georgian occupied territories and the fulfilment of the six-point ceasefire agreement.

Asked whether Russia is relying on particular representatives of the Georgian opposition to talk to it, Lavrov answered that it doesn’t matter whether Zurab Noghaideli or someone else comes to Moscow. On the contrary, Russia expresses its readiness to listen to anyone who wants to negotiate. “We have not refused to have contact with Noghaideli. It was not us who broke off diplomatic relations. It is not our fault that we have very little official contact. Moscow considers it important to listen to those politicians who want to talk to the Russian Federation,” Lavrov concluded.

“Repeated meetings and dialogues will continue with Moscow,” said Zurab Noghaideli, the leader of the Movement for Fair Georgia, on the same day in response to Sergey Lavrov’s statement. Noghaideli said that he plans to visit Russia again in the near future. He added that other opposition members will also hold meetings there, but didn’t specify their names.

“We never say never. We will start discussions about the Russian-Georgian relationship. This is not the first time we have said so,” Zviad Dzidziguri, leader of Conservative Party, told the media. “I must tell you all that you will not be able to find traitors in our ranks. We deeply believe that political argumentation between the leaders of the two countries will do nothing but badly affect Georgia as a whole,” he added. “There are lots of problems to be resolved in Georgia. Territories have been lost, people are in need of support, etc, so we think that negotiations may bring solutions to these problems,” Alexander Shalamberidze, Political Secretary of the People’s Party, told the media.

The Messenger asked Zurab Abashidze, the former Georgian Ambassador to Russia, what he thinks about possible cooperation between Georgia and Russia. “I strongly believe that it is only up to the Governments of Georgia and Russia to restore relations between the two countries. The main priority is to conduct a political dialogue between the two Governments, but unfortunately there is such a significant difference in their approaches to every issue that no particular results can be achieved in the near future,” Abashidze told us.