Georgian pres welcomes efforts to restore good Russian relations.hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;}.hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;}Georgia hopes to establish good relations with Russia on the basis of respect for Georgia's territorial integrity, President Mikhail Saakashvili said Friday.

"We welcome any diplomatic talks and are ready for any dialogue that respects the territorial integrity of Georgia and takes the interests of all its citizens into consideration," Saakashvili told a meeting with small business representatives, which was broadcast on local television channels.

The Georgian president also lauded the efforts of Georgia's Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Ilia II to normalize Georgia-Russia relations.

Iliya II, who visited Moscow to attend the funeral of the Russia's Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Alexy II, met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev this week.

Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze said Friday after a meeting with Ilia II that the Caucasus country may resume inter-governmental dialogue with Russia.

"Russia must know that Georgia can be a good partner and a well-wishing neighbor, but Russia will have to observe Georgia's territorial integrity within the internationally recognized borders and to respect Georgian sovereignty and independence," Vashadze was quoted by Itar-Tass news agency as saying.

Concerning the restoration of relations at the government level, the foreign minister assumes that the negotiations “will be restored also at this level”.

“Dialogue will be renewed, probably and at the government level. The Russian Federation gradually understands that Georgia can be the desired partner. Although it is natural that the authorities of Georgia and the church, which uses the great authority in Russia, never will get used to the rejection of Abkhaziya and Samachablo”, Vashadze was quoted as saying in an online report published by

Georgia, a former Soviet republic now seeking NATO membership along with Ukraine, has long accused Moscow of supporting its breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Bilateral ties were further strained due to the five-day war between the two countries in August, when Tbilisi launched attacks to reclaim its breakaway region of South Ossetia but was defeated by Russian troops.

Moscow recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on Aug. 26, to which Georgia responded by formally cutting diplomatic ties with Russia on Sept. 2.