On Tuesday, October 8, a meeting of the Russia-Georgia
inter-parliamentary dialogue group was held in the State Duma. As the Chairman
of the Committee on Issues of the CIS and Contacts with Fellow Countrymen Leonid
Leonid Ivanoviсh stressed, this meeting of parliamentarians was already the sixth.
“The relations between Russia and Georgia are very difficult, nevertheless we find a parliamentary language for communication,” he said. “Our experience of the sixth meeting indicates that we find opportunities to find a common ground even after serious crises.”
According to Leonid Kalashnikov, various issues were discussed at the meeting, including the issue of a possible resumption of flights between Russia and Georgia. The parliamentarian emphasized that it is too early to speak about specific dates, however this may happen in the “near future”. At the same time, he noted that the safety of its citizens remains a priority for Russia. “We need to make sure airports are safe,” the head of the Committee stressed.
Member of the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia party in the Parliament of Georgia Giorgi Lomia said at the meeting that ”we support dialogue with Russia on the broadest agenda.“
“Direct conversation can change the tense situation for the better,” the parliamentarian said, stressing that, “fortunately, people in Georgia begin to understand that as well.”
He also said that the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia welcomes the meeting of the heads of the ministries of foreign affairs of the two states on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
At the same time, Giorgi Lomia complained that ”many politicians in Georgia manipulate opinion of the Georgian people, as Georgian people do not think this way.“ He told the Russian parliamentarians that to find out the real opinion of the Georgian people, the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia had held a public referendum in Batumi, and more than 77 thousand city residents took part in it, and more than 75% of them supported direct dialogue with Russia and the full restoration of relations between the two states.
Leonid Kalashnikov, in turn, recalled the words of the Russian President Vladimir Putin that ”the people of Georgia are smarter than some leaders, and they will appreciate the capacities and possibilities of our further cooperation.“
”I hope the results of the referendum will be more important for the Georgian authorities than their own phobias and fears,“ he said.
Leonid Kalashnikov also stressed that Russia supports the aspiration of constructive political forces, such as the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia, for an open dialogue.