Russia needs to honor the territorial integrity and sovereignty of
Georgia so that the region can be attractive to investment and business,
the country's prime minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili told CNBC on Friday.
Tensions have remained high between the two countries following a
short conflict in 2008. Hundreds died in clashes over the sovereignty
of South Ossetia and Abkhazia -- two breakaway Georgian regions which
Russia recognizes as independent countries, CNBC reports.
said that several formats of dialog now existed between the two
countries, and that there were positive dynamics in terms of trade.
are trying to decrease the tensions with Russia in order to allow
ourselves to attract investments, because stability and security
(are)... the main prerequisites for any investor," Kvirikashvili told
CNBC's Hadley Gamble at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
were still issues, however. Russia was still signing agreements with
both South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Kvirikashvili said, something he
described as "against all logic."
"But this is where we are," he
said. "We will continue a pragmatic approach, we will continue from our
side to decrease the tensions, and we welcome, of course, the recent
decision of the Russian government to ease the visa regulations for
Georgian citizens," he added.
"This was a positive step, and it is appreciated by (the) Georgian government and people."
if he had a message for Vladimir Putin, Kvirikashvili said that,
"Russia should honor Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty."
"This is the main entry condition to be met by the Russian side in order to start normal relations with Russia," he said.
we don't see enough political will today in (the) Russian leadership to
resolve this crisis, but despite all that, we have (a) longstanding
tradition of… relations with Russia, and I don't think that we need to
scratch out everything," Kvirikashvili added.
"Culturally, Georgians, we are Europeans, we are a European country," Kvirikashvili also said during the interview.
Friday the Georgian government announced that Kvirikashvili had met
with NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg while at Davos. The two
parties discussed issues relating to Georgia becoming a NATO member,
according to the prime minister's press office.
A former foreign
minister, Kvirikashvili assumed his role as Georgia's prime minister at
the end of last year, after the sudden resignation of Irakly
Garibashvili, - concludes the CNBC.