TBILISI, August 8 (RIA Novosti) - Broken diplomatic ties between Georgia and Russia are unlikely to be mended unless Moscow stops recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Novosti-Georgia agency has quoted Georgia’s foreign minister as saying.
Russia and Georgia severed diplomatic ties in 2008 after Moscow recognized the de-facto independent Georgian republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states following a brief military conflict over South Ossetia.
“Diplomatic relations will not be restored until this situation changes,” Georgian Foreign Minister Maya Pandzhikidze said Thursday during a visit to a cemetery near the capital Tbilisi five years after the 2008 war.
Moscow provides the breakaway republics with economic and military support. Their independence has been recognized by a handful of other countries as well. Most countries do not recognize South Ossetia or Abkhazia as independent states, but view them as part of Georgia.
Georgia’s new government, elected in the October 1, 2012 polls, said normalizing ties with Russia was among its top priorities. However, Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili said in July Moscow and Tbilisi are unlikely to restore their ties by the time Russia holds the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.