Georgian Speaker Urges End to Anti-Russia ‘Pinpricks’

Georgia should stop criticizing Russia and creating new problems in bilateral relations, Georgian parliament speaker David Usupashvili said on Monday.

“We shouldn’t be making pinpricks that gratify us for two days but create two-year problems,” Usupashvili, who is also leader of the Republic Party, said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

“We should abandon the role of crusader with regard to ‘undemocratic Russia.’”

The Georgian parliament met on Sunday for the first time since the October 1 election, won by the Georgian Dream coalition led by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, which has secured 85 out of 150 seats in parliament.

The new ruling coalition does not as yet have a “road map” for the normalization of relations with Russia but it has a “concept” of how that should be done, Usupashvili said.

Tbilisi broke off diplomatic relations with Moscow after the August 2008 war with Russia over the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Georgia should continue its efforts to join NATO and the EU, he added, but in such a way that Russia understands “this is not a loss for it but a logical historical process.”

On Friday, Georgian deputy prime minister/defense minister-designate Irakly Alasania said the new government will seek to strengthen bilateral ties with Abkhazia and South Ossetia and improve ties with Russia. The dialogue could be mediated by Germany, which is an EU leader and “a country that has always had an excellent relationship both with Russia and with Georgia,” Alasania said.


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