Karasin and Abashidze about restoration of Russia-Georgia relations

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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said that Russia hopes that next year it will be possible to continue the restoration of relations with Georgia and consolidate their successes in economic and trade cooperation.

He stressed that by joint efforts, Moscow and Tbilisi have achieved notable results in the areas of trade and transport, and strengthened humanitarian ties. "In particular, only in 2017 bilateral trade increased by more than 30%," Karasin said. "Russia has become Georgia's second most important trading partner and the main market for its products, primarily wine," the Izvestia newspaper cited him as saying,

"A large-scale reconstruction of the Verkhny Lars checkpoint is under way," he said, adding that it would "facilitate ground communication" between the two countries.

Karasin expressed the hope that "these positive trends will be continued" next year, adding that Russia is ready for "all-round practical cooperation" and hopes "for an adequate response from the Georgian side."

In turn, his colleague, Georgian prime minister’s envoy for relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze, also pointed to positive changes in the economic and trade areas. At the same time, he believes that the situation is controversial, since political relations are still in crisis.