The Georgian government scoffed on July 27 at Russian President Dmitri Medvedev's pledge that Moscow and Tbilisi will be back on speaking terms once Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is replaced.
In response, Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Jalaghania told a news briefing that any such discussion is barren unless Russian troops pull out of the breakaway territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
In an interview with Russia's NTV channel, punctuated by amicable language toward Georgia and Ukraine, Medvedev said that Moscow is not "jealous" of the US's strong ties with the two countries, but criticized Washington's efforts "to drag" the two former Soviet republics into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Tbilisi, buoyed by the support expressed last week by US Vice President Joe Biden for Georgia's NATO aspirations, has advised Moscow to mind its own business where NATO is concerned. Repeating the government's longtime position, Deputy Foreign Minister Jalaghania told the briefing that "[n]o third country's desire to hinder this process and choice will bear fruit."