Tsulukiani: Ties with Russia must be restored without preconditions

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Diplomatic ties with Russia must be restored without any preconditions, the news agency InterPressNews has quoted Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani as saying on 5 August.

Tsulukiani was commenting on a statement by Russia's Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev in which he said that Russia will restore diplomatic ties with Georgia if Tbilisi admits that it started the Russia-Georgia war in August 2008.

Tea Tsulukiani has noted that "without opening up a negotiating table, we will not be able to talk seriously about any topic, including the restoration of territorial integrity of Georgia. Therefore, the diplomatic ties must be restored without any preconditions, reservations and reciprocal promises."

According to the justice minister, Russia is the occupier of Georgia. "Even more, it carries out a creeping annexation. We remember a tragic history of barbed wire fences [being installed along the occupational line with the Tskhinvali region] when already divided houses and Georgian territories have once again occurred on the other side of the divide. This is the reality which cannot be changed by evaluative reasoning of authorities of any country, including the government bodies of Russia," Tsulukiani said.

Georgia severed the diplomatic relations with Russia in August 2008, after Moscow recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Both former and current governments of Georgia have declared that the diplomatic ties will not be restored until after Russia has retracted the recognition of occupied territories of Georgia.

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