Putin Hopes to Mend Ties with Georgia

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday he hoped to improve Russia’s relations with all its neighbors in the Caucasus, including Georgia.

“The situation in the region has changed slightly. I hope that it changes for the better and we will manage to build good ties with all neighbors,” the Russian leader said at a meeting with South Ossetian President Leonid Tibilov.

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

Georgia’s October 1 election was won by the Georgian Dream opposition coalition, which has secured 85 out of 150 seats in parliament.

Last 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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