Russian-Georgian relations are unlikely to get worse with Georgia's tentative exit from the CIS, said Russia's President Vladimir Putin as he was talking to journalists at the State Kremlin Palace during an evening gala on Agro-Industrial Complex Day. The Commonwealth of Independent States is not a Russian but international organisation, and Russia cannot force any other country to stay within it or join it, stressed Mr. Putin. If Georgia wants to maintain exclusive contacts, which promise it certain economic and other benefits, Russia is willing to cooperate with it as before. If it is not interested in such contacts, and sees another, more reasonable way to deal with an entire range of its economic and other problems by joining hands with other countries, there is no drama in that turn, and Russia will not regard Georgia's shift as a call to spoil bilateral relations. There will be no alienation between Russia and Georgia even if the latter bangs the door on the CIS. On the contrary, Russia's burden of exclusive relations will ease, said the President.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea