Russia's Georgian envoy sees thorns among the 'roses'

While Russia's ambassador to Georgia, Vladimir Chkhikvishvili, accepts the term 'revolution of roses,' he has noticed that roses have thorns. Specifically, he said Tuesday night in a broadcast over Georgia television's Rustavi 2 channel, constitutional violations were committed during the revolution. As a result, he said, Russia decided to wait for the legitimization of the Georgian authorities before starting an open and friendly dialogue. He added: 'We are having that dialogue now.'

The envoy took issue with the widely held view that the United States is squeezing Russia out of Georgia. 'Georgia is an independent government and itself will choose how it wishes to live and how to conduct its relations with Russia and the US. We stand in favor of the stability and independence of Georgia,' he said.

Most important for Russia, Chkhikvishvili said, is that Georgia should prosper, be at peace internally and with its neighbors and not allow threats to Russian interests to emanate from its borders. The ambassador underlined that he was referring to international terrorism. Russia continues to have worries on this score. He revealed that one more bandit group had been eliminated recently and that several of its members were carrying passports with Georgian visas. They probably had made their way into Chechnya via Georgia, he said. That is why, he said, the appropriate structures of Georgia and Russia need to work together more closely than ever.

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