Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Grigory Karasin, spoke of Russia - Georgia relations during an interview with Ria Novosti. According to Karasin, Georgia has managed to come out of the blind alley into which Saakashvili lead the bilateral relations of the two states, however, Georgia is still not ready to restore diplomatic relations with Russia. The Prime Minister’s special representative for relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, has also commented on the restoration of diplomatic relations by saying that it can only be placed on the agenda if there are significant advancements in regards to the occupied territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Karasin stated that “despite everything, Georgia isn’t ready to restore diplomatic relations with Russia which it broke in September of 2008. Tbilisi often has confrontational rhetoric towards Russia and this doesn’t lead to positive tendencies. I constantly discuss this issue with the Prime Minister’s special representative for relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze”.
“Russia has eased the visa regime for Georgian citizens since the beginning of the year and the number of visas granted to Georgian citizens has risen significantly. We can’t force Russia to easen the regime more or to restrict it - this is their decision. The restoration of diplomatic relations is not being discussed anywhere, but if there will be such a discussion, then there should be a significant advancement in regards to the occupied territories of Georgia. At some point this matter may be discussed.” said Zurab Abashidze.
On October 19, the Prime Minister’s special representative for relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, met Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin in Prague. Upon returning from Prague, Abashidze stated that there would likely be a Russian-Georgian Business forum held sometime in November or December.
The meeting in Prague was held as part of an informal bilateral dialogue that was launched in late 2012. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the next meeting is expected to be held in the beginning of 2017.