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Alexey Pushkov

Member of the Committee on defense and security of The Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, RIAC member.

Relations of Russia and Georgia are gradually improving, head of the Russian State Duma committee for international affairs Alexey Pushkov said on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Putin said that Russia was ready to re-establish relations with Georgia and to lift the visa regime. "As for the visa regime, yes, we think we are ready to lift it," he told an annual news conference.

"I believe there is certain progress and the relations are improving and Putin noted it, outlining the steps Russia may undertake," Pushkov told reporters. "But certainly, Georgia should refrain from the steps Estonia takes when, on one hand, it urges us to ratify the border agreement in the soonest time possible and on the other hand, makes statements that Estonia will never join the coalition if Russia is in it."

"We will not want Georgia to backslide into anti-Russian hysteria again," the lawmaker said. "We are ready to improve relations."

Evidently, "people with pro-American and anti-Russian sentiments", were in power under Mikheil Saakashvili (Georgia’s president between 2004 and 2013), Pushkov said.

"Now people are more balanced and I can feel that Georgia has interests linking it to Russia, in particular economic ties," he said.

Source: TASS

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