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President Margvelashvili ‘criticizes’ Georgia’s Special Envoy to Russia

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Wednesday, March 23
Georgia's special envoy to Russia Zurab Abashidze said he was ready to meet President Giorgi Margvelashvili and inform him about his meeting with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, after the President ‘criticized’ Abashidze’s messages to the Russian representation.

After the meeting between the Georgian and Russian special envoys in Prague several days ago, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigori Karasin spoke about “increasing anti-Russian rhetoric in Georgia” by Georgian officials.

He also said the upcoming 2016 parliamentary elections could be a threat to Georgian-Russian relations.

“If I had my representative in Prague he/she would have given a different answer. My representative would have brought a different message to Karasin,” stated Margvelashvili.

Abashidzie responsed saying: “When Karasin made his statements, I was not by his side to respond immediately to his remarks. However, I will happily talk about this topic with Karasin. It is not good that the President uses the Russian media as a source of information and not Georgian sources.”

The Abashidze-Karasin meetings are the only form of official relations with Russia established in 2012 after the Russian-Georgian war of 2008.

The meeting format was created for trade-economic relations and is held at least twice a year.

The last meeting took place on March 16 after which Karasin made his statements.

“We pay attention to the statements; we try not to respond to everything, but we make our conclusions and now we are at the very watershed moment that we have to pass through – either we return to the period of confrontation or we will establish normal, respectful relations,” said Karasin.

The Russian official added his country's patience had “limits”.

In response to Karasin's statements, Georgia’s Prime Minister said Georgia would not take any steps back from Georgia’s Western path.