Zurabishvili: Georgia ready not to escalate
Georgian president Salome Zurabishvili said she’ll "wait and see" how a debate in Russia about possible new sanctions against her country will pan out as she cautiously welcomed conciliatory comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin as preferable to "threats."
Speaking during a break from a conference she was hosting with European leaders at the Black Sea resort city of Batumi, Zurabishvili also responded to critics in Georgia who have faulted her allegedly soft line toward Russia during a recent flare-up of tensions, saying it’s the “fate of any political leader” to face opposing views.
In response to Putin’s remarks that he wouldn’t take such action out of his respect for the Georgian people, Zurabishvili replied: "Well, we are going to wait and see what is the reality. But I would rather have these comments than have threats."
"And on our side we’re certainly ready not to escalate. And I’ll be the first one to call for de-escalation," the Associated Press cited her as saying.
"I’m sure that the Russian tourists will come back one day — maybe sooner than later. Georgia will remain open," Zurabishvili stressed.