In New York, where the high-level week of the UN General Assembly session is being held, a meeting was held between Russian and Georgian Foreign Ministers Sergei Lavrov and David Zalkaliani. There have been no personal contacts between the foreign ministers of the two countries since 2008. The talks were held against the background of the outlined improvement in relations between the two countries, which were greatly complicated in June this year.
“During the conversation, topical issues on the bilateral agenda were discussed. An exchange of views took place on regional security issues, ”the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Facebook. It notes that the meeting was organized with the assistance of Switzerland, which in the absence of diplomatic relations between the countries represents the interests of Russia in Georgia and Georgia in Russia.
The heads of the Russian and Georgian Foreign Ministries did not meet after the 2008 armed conflict in South Ossetia, after which Moscow recognized the independence of this republic, which broke away from Georgia, as well as the independence of Abkhazia. Tbilisi, in response, broke off diplomatic relations with Russia, which have not been restored so far.
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Minister expressed the opinion that Russia could already resume air communication with Georgia, suspended by Moscow this summer. According to him, this would be “right”, since “the majority of the Georgian population realized the counterproductive provocative nature of the trick that occurred in the Georgian parliament.”
Recall that relations between Russia and Georgia escalated in June 2019 after the scandal with the holding of the World Orthodoxy Assembly in Tbilisi. Its meeting, which was chaired by State Duma deputy Sergei Gavrilov, was held in the Georgian parliament, and Mr. Gavrilov, as the chairman, sat in the chair of the speaker. At first, this provoked protests with anti-Russian slogans and street riots, and then the Russian-Georgian crisis.
In response to criticism of Moscow, which was heard, inter alia, from the lips of the Georgian president Salome Zurabishvili, who called Russia an enemy and an invader, the Russian authorities suspended direct air communication with Georgia. The State Duma recommended going even further and imposing economic sanctions against a neighboring country. But President Vladimir Putin ultimately did not support this idea.
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