Georgia's president-elect said on Sunday that he is considering attending the 2014 Winter Olympic Games that Russia will host in its Black Sea resort of Sochi in February in a move that could eventually reduce political tensions between the two countries.
Giorgi Margvelashvili, who won the October 27 presidential elections in Georgia in the first round with 62.11 percent of the vote, told the Voskresnoye Vremya program on Russia's Channel 1 that the Olympics could "give a start to some new relations not only in Russia but in the entire world."
Margvelashvili, who will be sworn in on November 17, also said rapprochement between Georgia and the European Union is in Russia's interests.He said that reopening of Russian market for Georgian products was a very positive development; he also said that "all the conditions are in place" in Georgia for the Russian businesses to develop in Georgia.
"We are also creating new frameworks, we are creating opportunities for Russian businessmen to invest in Georgia, a country which will soon have free trade with Europe," Margvelashvili said, referring to the Association Agreement which Georgia plans to sign with the European Union shortly, and which also includes deep and comprehensive free trade agreement.
Asked how Georgia plans to take into account Russian interests while aspiring to integration into Europe, Margvelashvili responded: "Georgia's integration and association with Europe, from our point of view, represents Russia's interest; stable country on its southern [border] actually creates opportunity for deepening of relations and for stable development for the Russian Federation too, which by the way also has active ties with the Europe."
"We see only positive in this context for Russia, so I think Russia's interests are taken into account in this regard," he said.
"There is a stable political situation in Russia and there is a stable situation in Georgia too and it's a good precondition to start resolving issues," Margvelashvili said.
source: commonspace.eu with agencies
photo: Giorgi Margvelashvili during last month's election campaign (Picture (c) commonspace.eu/Molly Corso).
"As expected the declaration from the 5th Eastern Partnership summit did not change in any significant way the approach of the EU to the eastern neighbourhood. However the declaration has something for everybody, and there are interesting nuances in the text that can form the basis in the future for the next steps in the EU's engagement with the region", commonspace.eu political editor said in a comment.
Getting the Eastern Neighbourhood right is a key necessity for the future security and prosperity of Europe. The Brussels summit offers an opportunity for important steps on this matter in the right direction – not as an end in themselves but rather as a part of a longer term and more ambitious vision.