Abashidze: Russia, Georgia To Move To New Stage Of Rapprochement

Russia and Georgia should move to "a new stage of rapprochement," since they have "one border and that border doesn't exist at all in relations between the Russians and Georgians," said Aslan Abashidze, leader of the Georgian autonomous republic of Adzharia, after a 1.5-hour meeting behind closed doors with Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov. Abashidze is in Moscow on a two-day visit, whose agenda has not been disclosed. Observers have linked his trip to Georgia's ongoing political crisis. The Adzharian leader feels that the people who are governing Georgia "came to power on the revolutionary wave of the early 1990s," "underestimate their history, and cannot predict the future." Today, the ex-Soviet state can "return again to the revolutionary situation of the years 91 and 92," he told reporters after the meeting with the Moscow Mayor. "Only united with our neighbors can we" avert such a dire scenario, he insists. He thanked President Vladimir Putin for his positive stance on the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict and said Putin is a man who "has a sense of purpose, has political and purely human will and is capable of great deeds with popular support."

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