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Russian Minister Had Talks With Shevardnadze

Prior to the resignation of Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Shevardnadze met. Here is the transcript of Ivanov's press conference.

Transcript of Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Ivanov Remarks at Press Conference for Russian and Georgian Media in Tbilisi

Today I had lengthy talks with the President of Georgia, Eduard Shevardnadze, concerning the situation in Georgia, as well as on Russian-Georgian relations. We discussed among other things the course of the talks on a Grand Treaty between Russia and Georgia and of the talks on the Abkhaz problem. We agreed to speed up these talks.

As to the situation in Georgia, I shall once again stress that Russia very much hopes and would like to expect the complex crisis in which the country has now found itself to be solved by constitutional means, within the legal field.

I also just now met with the opposition leaders, who likewise support the finding of a political way out of the present crisis.

Russia, naturally, will not interfere in the internal affairs of Georgia, but we, for our part, are ready to aid comprehensively in finding just such a political, peaceful way.

I think that the best way is direct talks between the President and the opposition leaders to agree on further joint steps. I hope that such a dialogue, such talks will take place.

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