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Culture can save us, says Russian delegation

By Ernest Petrosyan
Friday, December 26
On December 25 a press conference was held by a Russian delegation visiting Georgia at the RIA Novosti Tbilisi International Press Centre. The Special Representative of the Russian President on Issues of Intercultural Affairs Michael ShvidkoI, journalist Nikolai Svanidze, film director Vadim Abdrashitov and the Chief Editor of the “Russian Orthodox Encyclopedia” and Big Russian encyclopedia Sergei Kravits comprised the delegation.

“We are visiting Georgia to provide cultural dialogue between the Georgian and Russian nations. It is very important to maintain all those cultural and spiritual relations we had before the August events, and do everything to keep anger out of people’s eyes. Several years ago I could never have imagined that the Swiss Embassy would represent both Russia and Georgia, and we are looking forward to restoring diplomatic relations,” stated Shvidkoi.

“It is very important to begin dialogue, or we will not be able to restore Russian-Georgian relations. We are amazed at the very warm hospitality of Georgian people. I’m very grateful to the Georgian Patriarch for his efforts, with his desire and active efforts to improve relations.He is a unique person,” said Nikolai Svanidze.

Speaking to The Messenger Nikolai Svanidze refused to comment on any political questions, stating that the delegation has an apolitical mission. “We are here to prevent anger developing in Georgian and Russian people and enhance the cohesion of two nations,” he said.

According to the members of Russian delegation, as a first step they intend to restore flights between the two countries. Later they are also planning to implement various cultural projects in which representatives of both countries will take part.