VLADIVOSTOK, November 10 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia’s president-elect said Sunday he is considering attending the 2014 Winter Olympic Games that Russia will host in its Black Sea resort of Sochi in February in a move that could eventually reduce political tensions between the two countries.
Giorgi Margvelashvili, who won the October 27 presidential elections in Georgia in the first round with 62.11 percent of the vote, told the Voskresnoye Vremya program on Russia’s Channel 1 that the Olympics could “give a start to some new relations not only in Russia but in the entire world.”
Margvelashvili, who will be sworn in on November 17, also said rapprochement between Georgia and the European Union is in Russia's interests. Tbilisi is negotiating an Association Agreement with Brussels.
Russia and Georgia severed diplomatic ties in 2008 after fighting a brief war in August over Georgia’s de-facto independent republic of South Ossetia. Moscow subsequently recognized both South Ossetia and its fellow breakaway Georgian republic of Abkhazia as independent states, and provides them with economic and military support.
Their independence has been recognized by a handful of other countries, but most countries continue to consider South Ossetia and Abkhazia part of Georgia.
Georgia’s new government, elected in the October 1, 2012 polls, said normalizing ties with Russia was among its top priorities. However, Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said in July that Moscow and Tbilisi are unlikely to restore their ties by the time Russia holds the 2014 Winter Olympics.