Russian FM: Moscow ‘ready’ to restore ties if Tbilisi ‘stops using Russia as a card’

Russian FM says Moscow is ready to restore relations with Georgia if Tbilisi is ready for this. Photo: ABC., 01 Sep 2021 - 16:43, Tbilisi,Georgia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says that if Tbilisi ‘stops using Russia as a card to maintain western support’ Moscow is ready to restore ties with Georgia which were suspended after the Russia-Georgia 2008 war. 

Russia is ready for this if Georgia wants to live a normal life with us as a neighbor,” RIA Novosti has cited Lavrov as saying during his recent speech at Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

Lavrov also said that Russia was ready to cancel the visa regime for Georgian citizens back in 2019. However, the protests in Tbilisi that year, which were sparked by the presence of Russian MPs in the Georgian parliament, hampered the process. 

The Georgian government has stated many times that the restoration of diplomatic relations with Russia is possible only after the country withdraws its forces from 20 per cent of Georgian territory. 

Trade and economic relations were restored between Russia and Georgia back in 2013, shortly after the Georgian Dream government came to power. 

Russia has not yet restored direct flights with Georgia which it stopped following the June 2019 events in Tbilisi.

Georgians took to the streets in the summer of 2019 after Russian MP Sergey Gavrilov took the seat of the Georgian parliament speaker during an international religious conference in Tbilisi.