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Russian, Georgian leaders' meeting crucial - Georgian minister

TBILISI, June 6 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia's conflict resolution minister said Tuesday that a meeting between the Russian and Georgian presidents slated for June 13 would be crucial for solving "frozen" conflicts in the Caucasus country.

Georgia last week accused Russia of building up a military presence under the cover of rotating its peacekeeping contingent in the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia as relations took another nosedive.

"June 13 is a decisive day for relations between Georgia and Russia," Giorgi Khaindrava told journalists. "All of us expect fundamental decisions to be made in St. Petersburg."

He said Georgia was looking to Russia to use its huge potential to resolve conflicts on Georgian territory.

"An unprecedented thing could happen at this meeting - conflicts will be peacefully settled with Russia's help," he said.

President Mikheil Saakashvili said June 3 at a session of the Georgian National Security Council that the meeting would take place in St. Petersburg June 13 and would focus on the solving Georgia's conflicts with the breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

"Our position has always been concrete," he said. "We are ready for close and constructive relations with Russia based on the principle of absolute immunity of the Georgia's territorial integrity, peaceful conflict resolution, removal of all artificial barriers, and flexibility."

Commenting on a meeting Tuesday with Russian parliamentarians, Khaindrava said he had tried to give detailed information on the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict settlement.

"I brought to the deputies' attention those aspects which are fundamental for us in settling this conflict," he said, adding that the current Russian-Georgian border should be observed.

Putin and Saakashvili agreed to hold a meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia's second city, during a phone conversation June 3.


(The Moscow Times 06.vi.06)

 
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