As a source in the Kremlin told RIA Novosti before the Wednesday meeting of the presidents of Russia and Georgia, "receiving Saakashvili in Moscow demonstrates the Russian leadership's serious intent to re-establish the traditionally friendly ties with Georgia, upset as a result of the policy which was pursued by that country's former leadership".
The source said that "in the course of the visit the Georgian side is expected not only to reaffirm its repeatedly stated intentions to normalize relations with Russia but also to show its readiness for practical deeds in this direction." Addressing the students of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations on the day before, Saakashvili stated that relations between Russia and Georgia "are at the level which is altogether unacceptable for both sides" and demand radical revision.
"Back during my inauguration I stated that I intend to lend a hand of friendship to Russia," he stated. "I have now come to Moscow with my hand stretched".
According to him, Georgia "is prepared for open and more effective cooperation with Russia." "My predecessor was incapable of reaching accords. I could not attain an accord with him, and for this reason had, together with my people, to get rid of him," Saakashvili said. "One can reach agreement with me," he assured.
Saakashvili holds the view that no state will be able to compete with Russia in the influence in Georgia. As he said, Georgia would like to become integrated in Europe together with Russia. "I think we will be able to do so more quickly together with Russia," he said.