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Georgian Opposition Leader In Moscow For Talks

Nino Burjanadze (file photo)

Nino Burjanadze (file photo)

TBILISI -- The leader of Georgia's opposition Democratic Movement-United Georgia party, Nino Burjanadze, has arrived in Moscow for talks with Russian officials, RFE/RL's Georgian Service reports.

Burjanadze, a former speaker of the Georgian parliament, did not say with whom she plans to meet.

She told journalists at Tbilisi airport that she will engage in "big-time politics," adding that by this she means revolution.

Ahead of her departure, she told RFE/RL's Georgian Service: "It's an invitation from the government of the Russian Federation, from the leading organs of Russia. I think I took a very correct step by deciding to go to Moscow, because I consider it important, in principle, to search for an outlet to get out of the dead-end situation in which Russian-Georgian relations are now."

She said earlier that it was impossible to change Georgia's leadership by means of elections, and therefore "President [Mikheil] Saakashvili has to be forced to step down first, and only after that should elections be held."

Any visit to Moscow by a Georgian opposition leader is a sensitive issue in the wake of the military conflict between Russia and Georgia in August 2008.

Saakashvili has implicitly branded former Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli, who has made several trips to Moscow in recent months for consultations with senior Russian politicians, a "collaborator."