Georgian billionaire tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili, the leader of the Georgian Dream coalition that won October 1 parliamentary elections, has said his first foreign visit will be to the United States, the Novosti-Gruzia agency reported.
“My first visit will be to the US, to Washington,” Ivanishvili said.
“Although I have already been invited, I have asked to postpone the visit until after the [US] presidential election,” Ivanishvili said, adding that he would depart for the US immediately after the November 6 election.
Ivanishvili said he plans to return directly to Georgia from the US, without visiting any of the European countries that have extended invitations.
In addition, he said he had not “received congratulations from Russia and had not been in contact with the Russian side.”
“All the more reason to go to the US, to our main partner and friend,” he said.
On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said the opposition’s election victory “will allow Georgia to start normalizing and improving constructive and respectful relations with its neighbors."
Georgian Dream won 55 percent of the October 1 vote, beating President Mikheil Saakashvili's UNM party, which gained only 40.27 percent, and winning 38 of the constituency seats against UNM's 35, according to the results with 97.03 percent of the ballots counted.
With a solid majority in parliament, Ivanishvili is the favorite to become prime minister. Saakashvili will remain president until his current term - his last under constitutional term limits - ends in October 2013.