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Russia, Georgia restore cross-border traffic
August 16, 2013, 4:54 pm

Moscow recently lifted its ban on Georgian wine [AP]

Moscow recently lifted its ban on Georgian wine [AP]

After a 7-year pause, Russia and Georgia have restored cross-border transportation, Georgian Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development said on Thursday.

The resumption of passenger and cargo transportation was agreed at the meeting of Georgian and Russian transport ministries delegations in Moscow.

The sides have exchanged quotas for 500 units of cargo transportation for 2013, which will allow Georgians to transport cargo on to Russia as well as through Russia’s territory.

Resumption of cross-border transportation is yet another step in improving relations between Moscow and Tbilisi.

Moscow recently lifted its ban on sales of Georgian wine and mineral waters in Russia.

Russia and Georgia had fought a five-day war in 2008.

The two nations severed diplomatic ties after Moscow recognised de-facto independent Georgian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states.

Relations between the two states entered a new phase when the Georgian Dream political party took over the Georgian parliament and Bidzina Ivanishvili became the country’s Prime Minister in October 2012.

Ivanishvili has been keen on reinstating diplomatic relations between the two nations and said in July that he is keen on a visit to Russia to meet President Vladimir Putin.

Georgia has long been the ‘pivot of geopolitical rivalry’ between the West and Russia.

Georgia’s new government, elected in October polls, said normalising ties with Russia was among its top priorities.

Earlier in June this year, NATO warned the new government of Georgia to avoid “selective justice” against officials who have served under the former President Mikheil Saakashvili.

“I want to make clear that we follow recent arrests of former government officials with a great concern,” NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a joint news conference with Saakashvili.

Meanwhile in the same month, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he supports restoring “full-scale relations” with Georgia.

Eighty two per cent of Georgians spoke in favour of restoring relations with Russia, while 11 per cent said relations should be reinstated partly, a poll conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI) said in June this year.


By Daria Chernyshova in Moscow, Russia for The BRICS POST, with inputs from Agencies