Medvedev calls for better relations with Georgia

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Moscow, May 26 (UNI) Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today said his country was set on pursuing a more constructive route in bilateral relations with the former Soviet republic of Georgia and improving security in the Caucasus region.

''I hope for constructive interaction between our countries in the interests of developing good-neighbourly relations and stronger stability and security in the Caucasus,'' Russian President Medvedev said in a message of greetings to his Georgian counterpart Mikheil Saakashvili on the occasion of Georgia's Independence Day.

''I sincerely wish peace and prosperity for the Georgian people, with whom we have age-old ties of friendship and kindred spirit,' the Kremlin press service repoted quoting the Russian leader as saying.

Relations between Russia and Georgia saw a new low in April when the former President Vladimir Putin ordered the government to establish closer ties with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, breakaway regions of Georgia.

Tbilisi has accused Moscow of trying to annex the Georgian regions, while Russian officials have said Tbilisi plans to invade Abkhazia.

Medvedev's message comes as the United Nations backed Georgia over drone claim. UN monitors confirmed a Russian jet did shoot down an unmanned Georgian drone over the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia last month.

The jet flew back into Russian airspace after the attack, a UN report said.

Moscow has denied the charges. Earlier Gorgia's Defence Ministry released video appearing to show a Russian MiG-29 shooting down the drone.

Tensions over Abkhazia have soared recetnly with Georgia and Russia accusing each other of a military build-up.

UNIN XC SZ ND1802

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