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  Saturday, October 19, 2019
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Trade and economic ties between Russia and Georgia will improve after
Trade and economic ties between Russia and Georgia will improve after Tbilisi abandons its anti-Russia rhetoric, Russia's foreign minister said on Friday.

"We expect relations with Georgia to be normalized, but we also expect the Georgian side to meet us halfway," Sergei Lavrov said. "They need to give up the anti-Russia rhetoric, give up the policy of looking for the source of all its troubles in Russia."

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili accused Russia on November 7 of being behind opposition protests in Tbilisi. Georgian authorities have also said that Russian peacekeepers had breached their mandate in local conflict zones, and that Russian planes had violated Georgian airspace. Russia has denied all the accusations.

The Russian foreign minister advised the Georgian side "to start working normally to settle conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia" instead of trying "to ruin the current agreements."

He said Russia withdrew its military bases from Georgia a year earlier than planned.

Russia's continued military presence has been extremely controversial in its relations with post-Soviet Georgia. The leadership of the South Caucasus nation has repeatedly accused Russian authorities of providing support for separatists in the Georgian provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Tbilisi is determined to bring back under its control.


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