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Georgian PM Courts West While Easing Tensions With Moscow


Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili says his country will remain on a pro-Western path while restoring some ties with Russia.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili says his country will remain on a pro-Western path while restoring some ties with Russia.

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili says his country will remain on a pro-Western path even as it restores some ties with Moscow.

In an interview with The Associated Press on April 25, Kvirikashvili said that the future of his post-Soviet country lies with the European Union and NATO.

That's the "very clear will of [the] Georgian people," he said.

Kvirikashvili was in Washington to meet with Vice President Joe Biden, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, and International Monetary Fund officials.

Kvirikashvili is a close ally of billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, a Russia metals mogul who founded the Georgian Dream party that ousted the government of President Mikheil Saakashvili in 2012.

The new government has continued reforms aimed at economic, political, and military integration with the West.

But it also has sought to restore economic relations and ease tensions with Moscow despite a five-day war with Russia that left the country divided in 2008.

"This does not mean that we do not need to try to normalize relations with Russia, with our neighbor, but not at the expense of Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereign decisions," Kvirikashvili said.

Based on reporting by AP and Vestnikkavkaza.net
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