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).