Ambassador Ian Kelly’s comment to media on the sidelines of 14th International Conference on Georgia’s European Way, Batumi (July 13)

Ambassador Ian Kelly’s comment to media on the sidelines of 14th International Conference on Georgia’s European Way, Batumi (July 13)

Q-n about 14th International Conference Georgia’s European Way 

Ambassador Kelly:  I am very pleased to participate in this conference.  It is the second annual conference that I have attended anyway.  I think it is an important signal to the Trans-Atlantic community of our support for Georgia’s European aspirations and our support for their sovereign decision to become a part of this community .

Q-n about Foreign Minister Lavrov’s statement regarding Russia being ready to elevate Russia-Georgia talks to a higher level 

Ambassador Kelly:  On the first question, of course, it is a sovereign decision of the Georgian Government, of the Georgian people, how to structure their foreign relations with other countries.  I will say in general that we have been supportive of the very pragmatic approach of dialogue that the Georgian Government has.  However, I would say that this kind of elevation of dialogue would be more representative of a relationship that was normalized, and I think that the efforts of the Russian Federation would be better placed on making progress in Geneva in removing the borderization and the free movement of people and goods within Georgia.  So, it is a decision of the Georgian people, but I would say that it is better right now to make progress on existing issues than develop a new architecture.