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Meeting between Georgian and Russian President put on hold

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, October 22
The statement made by the president’s former advisor in the foreign policy field Vano Machavariani regarding a meeting between Margvelashvili-Putin has triggered much speculation. Government members claim that they knew nothing about the issue. Machavariani said that the meeting failed because the Russian president wished to meet with his Georgian counterpart and not with the prime minister. He stressed that in the case of such a meeting, Georgia might have gained in terms of Georgian-Russian relations.

"We were working for this. We wanted to hold a meeting between the Georgian and Russian presidents with the participation of international partners. We had talked about it with our partners, including the US,” Machavariani said in his interview with the Kviris Palitra newspaper and directly accused the government of being reluctant to support the meeting.

"I will refrain from discussing other details. Today the situation is different; it is more complicated now and it is difficult to organize a high-level meeting. However, if our partner countries engage in it, some steps can be taken. This is necessary because Moscow has decided to sign a treaty with Sokhumi,” Machavariani said.

After releasing the article, Minister of Energy Kakhi Kaladze and Minister of Healthcare Davit Segeenko stated that they had no information about the meeting.

However, Minister of Economy Giorgi Kvirikashvili stressed that Machavariani’s statement stood far from the truth.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Davity Zalkaniani emphasized that such a meeting was not on the agenda.

Georgia’s Special Envoy to Russia Zurab Abashidze says that the meeting was not discussed under the Geneva or Prague formats. He stated that such meetings require very detailed and serious preparation.

Other ministers state that they were against this kind of meeting. Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alex Petriashvili says that he was happy that the meeting was disrupted.

“I believed that the meeting would not bring a positive outcome and might trigger unfavorable speculation within the country,” Petriashvili says.

It appears there were talks within the president’s administration concerning taking the initiative of running the relations with Russia through the president. It should be stated that the appeal of calling the Security Council meeting in terms of the Russian-Abkhazian treaty belonged to the president. Currently it is unlikely the government would support such a meeting between the two presidents.

The spokesperson for Vladimir Putin stated that if there is a Georgian initiative, Putin is prepared to meet his Georgian counterpart.