TBILISI, Georgia, May 14 (R-Sport) – The prime minister of Georgia is considering attending next year’s Winter Olympics in the southern Russian city of Sochi, he announced Tuesday.
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili had mooted a boycott in the wake of the country’s brief war with Russia over the South Ossetia breakaway region in 2008, but that talk has since been quashed by his bitter opponent Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.
“I haven’t received an official invitation,” Ivanishvili said. “I don’t know if I’ll go to the Olympic Games. We will see how our relations will develop. I do not rule out that I might go there.”
Formal diplomatic relations are yet to be fully restored since the conflict, but ties have thawed in recent years.
The Games will be held in Sochi, near Russia’s border with the breakaway region of Abkhazia, which Georgia claims as part of its territory but Russia considers independent. Russia maintains a large military presence in Abkhazia.