MOSCOW, December 21 (RIA Novosti) – Georgia’s foreign minister has welcomed the Russian president’s statement that Moscow could return to visa free regime with Tbilisi.
President Vladimir Putin said at his annual press conference Thursday that Russia sees signals from the new Georgian leadership towards restoring visa-free regime and the issue should be considered at the expert level.
“We should only welcome this statement,” Maja Panjikidze told journalists Friday.
Visa issues are expected to be discussed at talks between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gregory Karasin and Georgian Prime Minister's Special Representative Zurab Abashidze at the beginning of next year.
Russia and Georgia severed diplomatic ties after Moscow recognized de-facto independent Georgian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states following a brief military conflict in August 2008.
Georgia’s new leadership said normalizing ties with Russia was among its top priorities. Tensions started to thaw earlier this year after Russia lifted its import ban on Georgian wine and mineral water.