Russia, Georgia pledge to mend ties
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Georgian counterpart Mikhail Saakashvili voiced need to mend fraying ties.Updated: Jun 14, 2006 09:00 IST
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Georgian counterpart Mikhail Saakashvili on Wednesday voiced the need to mend fraying ties between Moscow and Tbilisi, though not without reservation.
"We both think that our political relations cannot be called normal, and our meeting was dedicated to seeking ways to resolve it," Putin said following an overnight meeting in Saint Petersburg.
"Many unsolved problems have accumulated recently in Russo-Georgian relations, which causes us great concern, such as problems with 'frozen conflicts' and aggressive separatism," Saakashvili echoed, urging "restoration of constructive dialogue."
However, the Georgian leader also warned that "Georgia is a small country, and it is best left alone", hinting at unspecified attempts to "annex our territory" and vowing that "no one will get even a meter of the Ossetian or Abkhaz territory."
Putin in his turn retorted that in resolving territorial conflicts that plague Georgia one must act in accordance with the people's interests, not "political expediency or historical peculiarities."
"We think that in time we will be resolving this together with Russia. We are sure that Russia does not intend to annex any of our territory, it has enough of its own," Saakashvili assured.
He also played down the importance of aggressive rhetoric that has been staple of Russo-Georgian relations in recent times, as "emotions are one thing and reality is another.
First Published: Jun 14, 2006 09:00 IST