GEORGIAN TOP EAGER TO IMPROVE RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA. RECIPROCALLY, SAYS IVANOV

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MOSCOW, JANUARY 26, RIA NOVOSTI - New Georgian leaders are eager to bring contacts with Russia back to normal-which suits Russian interests to a T, Igor Ivanov, Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, said to the media after President Vladimir Putin and Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, finished conference.

Messrs. Ivanov and Powell together attended the inauguration ceremony of President Mikhail Saakashvili of Georgia in Tbilisi, yesterday, remarked the minister. "I met with Mr. Saakashvili and other Georgian leaders to discuss the entire range of bilateral relations-in particular, Russian military bases in Georgia, and related issues." Georgia's new top is vitally interested in improving relations with Russia, President Saakashvili stressed during the inauguration gala and on a number of previous occasions. That stance is fully in keeping with Russian interests. "We have always been speaking for the progress of mutually beneficial goodneighbourly contacts with Georgia," said Igor Ivanov.

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