Zurab Zhvania: Russia has unprecedented popularity in Georgia

We should make the most of the chance to develop exemplary relations between Russia and Georgia instead of endless confrontation, said Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania. Mr. Zhvania told Izvestia about how Tbilisi intends to use this chance, after his two-day negotiations with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and other members of the Russian cabinet in Moscow.

During the two days of talks with a more dynamic team than the previous one in Moscow, we have agreed on the format of further bilateral trade and economic relations, said the Georgian premier.

Moscow and Tbilisi are well aware of the need for more active rapprochement, and then it will be easier to find a common language. Georgia has opened doors for Russian capital. "We want Russian businessmen to know that Georgia offers them the most advantageous conditions for investments," said Zurab Zhvania.

There is a wide spectrum of cooperation areas - agriculture, food industry, and of course, tourism, which will now be actively developed in Georgia. The Moscow talks also highlighted restoration of large enterprises that were actively operated in Soviet times.

On the whole, Mr. Zhvania said, Georgia today arouses interest in investors from Europe, the US and eastern countries. But Russia can play a particular role among the investment community. The two countries have close trade relations, and there is a point in developing them successfully in the future. Today we are using only a small part of the entire potential. The Georgian prime minister stressed that we should move ahead, proceeding from the interests of economic development rather than limiting ourselves to political considerations alone.

When asked about breaking the Abkhazian deadlock with the help of economy, Mr. Zhvania emphasized that until the conflict in Abkhazia is settled, it is risky to invest in it. Privatization processes need to be formalized in Abkhazia in line with the Georgian legislation. Everything is interconnected in the Abkhazian settlement - there need to be both economic and political decisions.

Today Russia is more popular in Georgia than ever, the Georgian premier stressed. A lot, of course, depends on the trust between the two countries' presidents and many state structures.

The Georgian premier added, we have presented our considerations to Moscow on ways to speed up the solution to the Abkhazian problem. Tbilisi plans to use no force either in Abkhazia or in South Ossetia. "We seek very active cooperation with Russia and hope it will play a key role in the search for final decisions," said Mr. Zhvania.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team