U.S. to help Georgian government to normalize relations with Russia

The United States will help the new Georgian government overcome mistrust and improve relations with neighbors, including Russia, Eric Rubin, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, said in Washington DC.

He welcomed the first positive steps towards restoring mutual trust and relaxing bilateral tensions.

Rubin said the steps included Georgia's consent with Russia's entry into the WTO, the opening of borders, the resumption of air traffic and the Georgian lift of visa restrictions on Russian citizens.

The U.S. believes that much more can be done, and it will support efforts of the new Georgian government to improve and develop relations with all neighbors, the diplomat said.

In the opinion of Washington, there is no conflict between the energetic and sound relations between the U.S. and Georgia and the energetic and sound relations between Georgia and Russia.

Rubin noted that the U.S. support to Georgian sovereignty and territorial integrity within the internationally acknowledged borders would be invariable.

The U.S. continues to urge Russia to meet the obligations it undertook in 2008, to pull out forces to their initial positions and to admit international monitors to areas on both sides of the administrative borderline, he said.

The U.S. is a staunch supporter of Georgian accession to NATO, Rubin added.

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