Georgian protesters push for renewal of ties with Russia

AP News
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Posted: Sep 24, 2015 10:01 AM

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Several dozen protesters have marched in Georgia's capital to the president's offices to push for restoring diplomatic ties with Russia which were severed in 2008 after a five-day war.

The successor of ex-President Mikhail Saakashvili, who favored strong ties with the West, has sought to revive relations with Moscow — trade in particular. But ties haven't been restored under the leadership of President Giorgi Margvelashvili, making it difficult for Georgians to get a Russian visa, among other things.

The protesters in Tbilisi on Thursday insisted that the restoration of diplomatic ties could help rebuild relations with Georgia's breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which declared independence following the 2008 war. A rival gathering nearby tried to disrupt the rally and called the protesters traitors.