PM: No Georgian govt delegation at Sochi Olympics

Georgian government delegation will not be attending the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, PM Irakli Garibashvili said in an interview with Russian state-funded English-language news channel Russia Today.

He said only Georgian athletes and officials from the National Olympic Committee will be in the delegation.

In the same interview, Garibashvili said that there is “successful improvement” in bilateral trade ties, which he called, “technical relations”, referring to Russia’s decision to lift ban on import of Georgian products.

He, however, said placing fences by the Russian troops along the administrative boundary line of breakaway South Ossetia is “incomprehensible to us”. “This borderization process impedes the confidence-building process,” PM Garibashvili said.

Asked how Tbilisi plans to normalize its ties with Moscow while at the same time maintaining NATO aspiration, Garibashvili responded that it’s “a tough question.”

He said Tbilisi has to “succeed in convincing” Russia that Georgia’s aspiration “to join the European Union and NATO does not imply a threat against Russia.”

“This is our task. I understand that it will be difficult. But this is why dialogue is necessary,” Garibashvili said.

Speaking about conflicts in Georgia, the PM also said: “We have all made mistakes. Let us admit that we have all made mistakes in the early 1990s, for example. There is no way only one side can be spotless and unblemished.”

Adapted from С