Normalization of Georgian-Russian relations will take much time - Abashidze

Special representative of the Georgian prime minister for relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze regards the Friday meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin near Geneva as positive.

"The meeting was positive but as we have said many times before it will be a complex process and nothing will happen fast. We agreed that the dialogue would continue on a regular basis," he said to reporters on Sunday after returning to Tbilisi from Switzerland.

He did not rule out that the next meeting with a Russian envoy will take place at the beginning of next year.

Earlier he said he was satisfied with his first meeting with Karasin. "We both shared the opinion that Russian-Georgian relations are in a deadlock, and we should look for ways out of it," Abashidze told Interfax on Friday evening.

Abashidze said Karasin and he agreed that "we should negotiate trade and transport contacts, the resumption of regular flights between Tbilisi and Moscow, and also contacts in the humanities and culture areas."

"We agreed to continue our dialogue on a regular basis, for which we considered technical aspects of this kind," Abashidze said.

"Generally speaking, this was not bad a meeting for the first time," Abashidze said. "It passed in a businesslike atmosphere in line with the Georgian prime minister's and the Russian president's instructions," he said.

Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that Karasin and Abashidze discussed ways to normalize Russian-Georgian relations.

Karasin and Abashidze "exchanged opinions on possible ways to normalize relations between Russia and Georgia in certain areas," the ministry said in commenting on outcomes of the meeting, which took place in Switzerland on Dec. 14.

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