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    TBILISI, February 12, 2004. (RIA Novosti). "Our rapprochement with Russia does not contradict relations with the USA. It is beneficial for the preservation and consolidation of regional stability. I believe that rapprochement with Georgia will play an important role in Russian-US relations," Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili told a press conference in Tbilisi.

    According to the President, his recent visit to Moscow was successful.

    "I regard it as the first success in Georgian-Russian relations over the last 12 years. Our relations are so complicated that we should take much effort on their normalization," Saakashvili noted.

    "I am convinced that we can hold dialogue and cooperate with Russia. I had strong doubts of this before my trip," the Georgian President said. In his words, he has a liking for his Russian counterpart. "Vladimir Putin looks more amiable in everyday life than on TV screens. We have established friendly relations," Saakashvili stressed.

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