President of The Russian Federation Vladimir Putin: Mikhail Nikolayevich,
First of all, I would like to thank you for accepting our invitation and coming to this informal CIS summit. I know that our relations are starting to improve in a number of different areas. We have noted your statements that the Georgian leadership seeks better relations with Russia, and we are very pleased to hear this. We will do our best to reply in kind. I know that our aviation authorities have reached an agreement in principle on settling the differences between them, above all the question of debt settlement. This means we will be able to resume flights between our countries and also settle a number of the other issues that had come up. We have a fair number of problems to address but I think we will able to take advantage of your being here for the CIS summit and discuss all of these different issues today.
President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili: Yes, I think so. First of all, Vladimir Vladimirovich, I am very happy to have been able to come to this summit. This will be the last CIS summit during your term in office and I did not want to miss this occasion.
I regret that you have not yet managed to make a visit to Georgia as President, but I invite you to make one of your first visits, I hope, as Russia’s Prime Minister. We would be very pleased to see you. We have indeed had some good meetings. As far as I know, a protocol has already been signed on air transport links and the situation that saw the end of direct flights between Russia and Georgia will return to normal, I think. I think we are also making progress on the issues concerning supplies of Georgian products to the Russian market, and I hope that we will be able to make some headway here. This is an important political issue for our country. I think there are a number of other issues on which Russia and Georgia should seek rapprochement. We simply must normalise our relations and overcome past problems. We hope to restore the positive trend that we saw at the beginning of my first term in office. If we cannot start afresh, we at least want to give new impetus to our relations. This is something we all desire and hope very much that we can achieve.