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Vladimir Putin on Georgia

Published: December 19, 2013 | 11:23 am
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The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has made a statement about Georgia. According to him, the signals sent by the new Georgian government are being registered, and he is therefore not ruling out reintroducing visa-free travel for Georgian nationals.
The President stated that neither military activities, nor the other existing problems between the two countries have been initiated by the Russian side.
“There has been a change in my attitude towards the Georgian government, but not towards the Georgian people. My views towards the Georgian people are as positive as they always were. My attitude towards them remained most friendly even during the military conflict.
There are problems which were not initiated by us. The military activities were not initiated by us. This is now clear, and has been recognised by everyone. What has happened, has happened. We have told them a thousand times – don’t do this, don’t allow bloodshed. Yet they went ahead, and took things this far. Now there is a certain reality which we cannot ignore. Nevertheless, the signals sent by the new Georgian government are being registered by us.
If the situation in Georgia continues to develop in the present manner, then I think that we can definitely re-introduce visa-free travel. I think this will be a very positive step towards normalising the Russian-Georgian relations. It will help people interact with each other, it will help Georgian manufacturers to operate on the Russian market, and overall, it would create the conditions necessary to achieve a final normalisation of our relations.”

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