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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Friday, January 27
Will negotiations begin in near future between Russia and Georgia?

Rezonansi has asked two public figures if they believe that a restoration of relations between Russia and Georgia is possible, and how imagine the negotiations would unfold between them.

Historian Tedo Dundua says that Russia placed itself in a strategic deadlock as soon as it recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Its refusal to step back (by leaving the territory), and inability to move forward (in Georgia's mind, by aiding territorial reconstitution), prevents Georgia from pursuing normal relations. “This... will always be a problem in negotiations, and it would be great if they realize their mistake. They should understand that because of 90 000 Abkhazians, and even fewer Ossetians, they should not confront Georgia's strategic importance in the region," Dundua argues. "Abkhazia is like heaven and we do not want to lose it. If we discuss South Ossetia it is like we have a knife in heart, because of its location... it divided the country."

Lawyer Shalva Shavgulidze believes that the conflict should be solved through negotiations at an international level, as the conflict exists between Georgia and Russia, not merely Georgia and its breakaway territories. However Shavgulidze says that the current leadership does not have the resources or ability to begin negotiations, damaging Georgia’s interests. “I hope in 2012-2013 authorities will change in Georgia and relations with Russia will improve,” Shavgulidze added.

Georgian-language teachers trained

The participants of the “Georgian Language for Future Success” program are currently being trained. After passing a week-long course, 160 teachers will commence their work in the non- Georgian schools of Samtskhe-Javakheti, Kvemo Kartli, and Kakheti, alongside local teachers of the Georgian language, 24 Hours reports.

Training is conducted in Kutaisi on subjects related to professional skills, teaching methodology, bilingual learning, and cultural diversity. New textbooks have been developed specially for this program, appropriate for varying ability levels.

The program is an initiative of the President, began in September 2011, with the goal of improving Georgian language skills among ethnic minorities.