01:51 GMT +3 hours29 November 2014
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Georgia: No Plans to Rejoin CIS

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Georgia will never return to the CIS, a loose association of post-Soviet states, Foreign Minister Maya Pandzhikidze said on Saturday.

TBILISI, November 17 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia will never return to the CIS, a loose association of post-Soviet states, Foreign Minister Maya Pandzhikidze said on Saturday.

“Georgia only wants to join two associations: the EU and NATO. This is the focus of our entire strategy and there is no question of entering the CIS,” she said in an interview with Rustavi 2 TV Channel.

Georgia has never received any official invitations to accede to the Commonwealth of Independent States, she said.

“The CIS understands very well that it makes absolutely no sense to invite Georgia to the Commonwealth,” the minister said.

Tbilisi also has no plans to restore diplomatic relations with Russia as long as Moscow “has embassies in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and recognizes the independence of these territories,” she said.

She earlier said Georgia was not ready to restore diplomatic relations with Russia as long as it continued to "occupy" Georgian territory.

Mikhail Yevdokimov, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s CIS Department, earlier said Russia saw no impediments to Georgia’s return into the CIS fold, but initiative should come from Tbilisi.

Georgia announced its withdrawal from the CIS and the break-off of diplomatic relations with Russia after their August 2008 war over the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said earlier the restoration of diplomatic relations with Russia will be linked to the issue of the country’s territorial integrity.

Georgia lost one-fifth of its territory after South Ossetia and Abkhazia broke away.