Russia may restore diplomatic ties with Georgia on the condition that the Georgian side admits that it started the August war, Russia's Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev said in his interview, dedicated to the fifth anniversary of the Russia-Georgia war of August 2008, to Russia Today TV channel.
"Let me recall that the Russian Federation did not sever diplomatic ties with Georgia and we are ready to restore them on certain conditions; the conditions are simple – the Georgian side must admit what happened. This may happen in a more difficult way, but I am sure there will be no return to the past," Medvedev said in the interview, which was published on 4 August.
Dmitri Medvedev blames President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili for provoking the war and severing ties with Russia and is optimistic about Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili and his government. "Let's just recall what Prime Minister Ivanishvili said; he said the truth: 'it was you [Saakashvili] who provoked everything and triggered conflict'," Medvedev said when speaking about the August war. Medvedev hailed this statement by Ivanishvili as "a difficult but brave act." He said he is glad the new government of Georgia holds a way more pragmatic position and expressed hope that relations with the country will improve.
In the interview, Russia's Prime Minister has evaluated the recognition of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as a difficult but correct step taken by Russia. When commenting on future relations of Tbilisi with Sukhumi and Tskhinvali, Medvedev noted that everything depends on the will of those people who live in those territories. "Everything depends on the will of the Georgian nation and on whom they will elect as their leaders; on the will of the population of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. They can give them any mandate and that will be within the boundaries of their constitution," said the Russian prime minister, adding that he would like to see Georgian, Abkhazian and South Ossetian people living peacefully.