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Georgia Seeks EU's Help In Relations With Russia

Georgia's breakaway republics remain restive (file photo) 20 February 2005 -- A senior Georgian envoy said today that the European Union should play a more active role in improving his country's relations with neighboring Russia.

Giorgi Baramidze, Georgia's chief envoy to the EU and NATO, said European participation in resolving the status of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia would help smooth relations between Tbilisi and Moscow.

Baramidze met with diplomats from European Union countries yesterday, one day after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov left Georgia. Russia and Georgia have failed to resolve several bilateral issues over their mutual border and the status of two Russian bases in Georgia.

Baramidze also called for renewing an unarmed observer mission from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe along the Russian-Georgian border.