Expert doubts about results of Putin-Margvelashvili meeting

By: Jamila Babayeva

Special representatives of Georgia and Russia, Zurab Abashidze and Grigory Karasin, are seeking to organize a meeting between Presidents Giorgi Margvelashvili and Vladimir Putin.

The two countries -which have no diplomatic relations with each other since a war in 2008 – held discussions in Prague last week over a meeting between their leaders.

“A possible meeting was discussed, but not in details,” Abashidze told local media. “The presidents’ meeting must be preceded by serious preparatory works,” he added.

During the Sochi Olympic Games, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin talked of possible talks with his Georgian counterpart Giorgi Margvelashvili.

In turn, Margvelashvili noted that he needs first to consult with officials inside and others abroad.

Georgian expert Gela Vasadze believes that no serious issue can be solved in Putin-Margvelashili meeting.

“The normalization of Russian-Georgian relations was one of the main points of “Georgian Dream” coalition’s pre-election campaign,” he told AzerNews. “Then, it was profitable for opposition to blame former President Michael Saakashvili for worsening relations with Russia.”

Vasadze said the recent events in Ukraine confirmed that the reality which “Georgian Dream” coalition talked about is different.

He believes that normalization of relations with Tbilisi is not a serious issue for Moscow.

“The restoration of relations will take center stage when Moscow decides to activate the influential Pro-Russian lobby in the Georgian government,” Vasadze said.

However, the last round of talks between Russia and Georgia show that Moscow is satisfied with limited relations with Tbilisi.

Following the meeting, Karasin indicated positive tendencies in Russian-Georgian relations.

“Trade turnover between the countries increased by 50 percent,” he noted. “The export of Georgian goods to the Russian market increased by two times and 22,000 visas were issued, which was much more than the previous years.”